The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of C.B., a Child, and Concerning A.A., Respondent-Appellant.
of Appeals No. 18CA1013 Pueblo County District Court No.
17JV248 Honorable William D. Alexander, Judge
Cynthia Mitchell, County Attorney, David A. Roth, Special
Assistant County Attorney, Pueblo, Colorado, for
Jennifer Zamarripa, Guardian Ad Litem Debra W. Dodd, Office
of Respondent Parents' Counsel, Berthoud, Colorado, for
1 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.
2 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.
3 The juvenile court later entered a judgment terminating
mother's parental rights.
4 On appeal, mother mounts several challenges to the judgment
terminating her parental rights, two of which are central to
5 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
6 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
attorney's 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 (recognizing a claim of ineffective assistance of
termination counsel in the "narrow circumstance"
where, because of counsel's 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).
7 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
court's inquiry error was harmless.
8 The record establishes the following facts.
9 The Pueblo County Department of Human Services filed a
petition in dependency or neglect after mother left the child
with a friend. Mother had asked the friend to care for the
child temporarily because ...