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In re Nioshka A. N.

Appellate Court of Connecticut

November 23, 2015

IN RE NIOSHKA A. N. [*]

 Argued October 8, 2015.

Page 620

Coterminous petitions by the Commissioner of Children and Families to adjudicate the respondents' minor child neglected and to terminate the respondents' parental rights with respect to their minor child, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of New Britain, Juvenile Matters, and tried to the court, Cohn, J.; judgment adjudicating the minor child neglected and terminating the respondents' parental rights, from which the respondent mother appealed to this court.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

The respondent mother appealed to this court from the judgment of the trial court terminating her parental rights with respect to her minor child. On appeal, the respondent challenged the trial court's determination that the termination of her parental rights was in the best interest of the child on the basis of two alleged errors in the factual findings made by that court pursuant to statute (§ 17a-112 [k]). The respondent claimed that the Department of Children and Families had failed to implement the recommendations of her court-appointed psychological evaluator to increase her visitation with the child, to vary the location of those visits, and to have biweekly communication between her supervising parenting therapist and her treating therapist. Accordingly, the respondent claimed that the trial court improperly concluded under § 17a-112 (k) (2) that the department had made reasonable efforts to reunify her and the child, and also improperly concluded under § 17a-112 (k) (3) that the department had followed the specific steps for reunification in light of the court's order to implement the reasonable recommendations made by her service providers. Held that the trial court did not err in terminating the respondent's parental rights, as that court's findings that the department had followed all court orders applicable to it, and in so doing had made reasonable efforts to reunify the respondent and the child, were supported by the record and were not clearly erroneous: the department had attempted to facilitate communication between the respondent's therapists by ensuring that they shared information, the department declined to implement the psychological evaluator's recommendations as to the frequency and location of visits on the basis of a social worker's reported observations regarding the respondent's chronic difficulties dealing with the child during supervised visitation, and the psychological evaluator subsequently stated that the social worker's observations markedly changed his initial recommendations; furthermore, the trial court's determination that termination of the respondent's parental rights was in the child's best interest was not clearly erroneous, as that determination was amply supported in light of the record as a whole by the court's findings as to the other five factors set forth in § 17a-112 (k), which the respondent did not challenge on appeal.

Michael D. Day, for the appellant (respondent mother).

Jessica C. Torres, assistant attorney general, with whom, on the brief, were George Jepsen, attorney general, and Benjamin Zivyon, assistant attorney general, for the appellee (petitioner).

Sheldon, Prescott and Flynn, Js.

OPINION

Page 621

[161 Conn.App. 629] PER CURIAM.

The respondent mother appeals from the judgment of the trial court terminating her parental rights with respect to her daughter, Nioshka.[1] We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The respondent challenges the trial court's determination that the termination of her parental rights was in the best interest of Nioshka. The respondent bases this challenge on two alleged errors in the factual findings made by the trial court pursuant to General Statutes § 17a-112 (k) (2) and (3).[2] The challenged findings are [161 Conn.App. 630] that the Department of Children and Families (department) made reasonable efforts to reunify the respondent with her child and that the department, with the approval of the court, had followed the specific steps for reunification. The respondent ...


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