Published Opinion, Ky Court of Appeals, Termination of Parental Rights and Necessity of Notices of Appeal for Each Child

W. L.C. V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, ET AL.
 

Mother  appealed the  court order terminating rights to daughter after court terminated her parental rights for daughter and son, arguing the termination was not based on substantial evidence and the  trial should have been delayed to allow her an opportunity to secure negative drug test results essential to her defense. The Appellate Court found that because the termination order was made pursuant to KRS 625.090, there had already been multiple continuances, and CHFS stipulated to some of the missing evidence, there simply was no grounds for reversal.

Although mother failed to file an appeal in son’s case, she argued that the Appellate Court should assume she intended to appeal both judgments and allow her to appeal son’s case as well. The Court of Appeals holds that “Because there were two separate cases and two separate judgments, two separate notices of appeal should have been filed.” While strict compliance is no longer required, substantial compliance is required. Substantial compliance requires a separate appeal of separate judgments.

Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell.