The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, IN the INTEREST OF C.B., a Child, and Concerning A.A., Respondent-Appellant.
County District Court No. 17JV248, Honorable William D.
Mitchell, County Attorney, David A. Roth, Special Assistant
County Attorney, Pueblo, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellee
Jennifer Zamarripa, Guardian Ad Litem
W. Dodd, Office of Respondent Parents Counsel, Berthoud,
Colorado, for Respondent-Appellant
In this dependency and neglect case, the juvenile court
adjudicated the child, C.B., dependent and neglected by
default after mother, A.A., failed to appear at an advisement
of rights hearing. The juvenile court appointed an attorney
for mother after it entered the default adjudication. This
attorney withdrew shortly afterward.
Mother then filed a pro se motion to set aside the default
adjudication. But, after conferring with her second appointed
attorney, she agreed to withdraw this motion.
The juvenile court later entered a judgment terminating
mothers parental rights.
On appeal, mother mounts several challenges to the judgment
terminating her parental rights, two of which are central to
First, she attacks the adjudication of her child by default,
claiming that the juvenile court violated C.R.C.P. 55, and
that she is entitled to relief under C.R.C.P. 60(b)(3). We
note that mother appears to have waived her challenge to the
default adjudication. But we conclude that because her
challenge is to the adjudication, it is not timely under
either section 19-1-109(2)(c), C.R.S. 2019, or C.A.R.
3.4(b)(1). Thus, we dismiss this portion of her appeal.
Second, mother contends her first appointed attorney rendered
ineffective assistance by not challenging the default
adjudication. Because mother withdrew her challenge to the
default adjudication, we conclude that she cannot use the
entry of default as a basis to complain about her first
attorneys effectiveness. And because mother was appointed
another attorney who represented her at the termination of
parental rights hearing, and she does not contend that this
attorney rendered ineffective assistance, we conclude that
she is not entitled to relief from the judgment terminating
her parental rights on this basis. See People in
Interest of A.R., 2018 COA 176, ¶ 78, __ P.3d __ (recognizing
a claim of ineffective assistance of termination counsel in
the "narrow circumstance" where, because of
counsels deficient performance, the county department did
not prove the "fact of adjudication" element in
section 19-3-604(1), C.R.S. 2019) (cert. granted
Mar. 4, 2019).
Mother also points out that the juvenile court erred by not
making an Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) inquiry at
the hearing terminating her parental rights. Because, in
supplemental briefing, mother concedes the child does not
have any Indian heritage, we conclude that the juvenile
courts inquiry error was harmless.
The record establishes ...