Com., Cabinet for Health and Family Services v. C.V. et al., 192 S.W.3d 703 (Ky.App. 2006)
Issue and Holding:
Whether the trial court erred in finding that the Cabinet was required to amend its permanency goal in district court prior to filing a petition for termination of parental rights. The Court held yes, the trial court erred in so requiring. However, the trial court’s order was affirmed, since the Cabinet did not meet its statutory burden of proof to terminate parental rights.
The parents engaged in a drug-related lifestyle, and their child was committed to the Cabinet and place with the paternal grandmother. After the child continued to have unexcused absences from school, he was placed in foster care. The Cabinet’s plan was to reunify the child with the parents, however, at the hearing on the plan the district court found that the Cabinet had failed to provide services consistent with the reunification plan. Subsequently, the trial court held a hearing on the Cabinet’s petition to terminate parental rights, and the court denied the petition. The Cabinet appealed.
On appeal, the Cabinet argued that the trial court erred in finding that the Cabinet was required to amend its permanency goal in the district court from reunification to termination of parental rights before it filed a petition to terminate the parental rights. The Court agreed that such action was not required. Under KRS 625.090(3)(c), such a finding from the district court is not necessary.
However, the trial court made no findings that supported termination of parental rights. Therefore, the trial court’s order is affirmed.
Judge Guidugli concurs in result only.
Judge Guidugli argued that the appeal should have been dismissed under KRS 625.110, which states that the denial of an involuntary termination of parental rights cannot be appealed.