Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Hartford, Hartford
In re Jada M. Opinion No. 133778
(with first initial, no space for Sullivan, Dorsey, and
Walsh): Woods, Glenn A., J.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
this court is the petition for termination of parental rights
of the Commissioner of the Department of Children and
Families (DCF or Department) in the interest of Jada M., date
of birth April 27, 2010. The child's mother is Mercedes
M. and the child's father is Allen B.
August 20, 2015, DCF filed a petition to terminate the
parental rights of the respondent parents. The parents were
properly served. Father contested the petition. Mother did
not express consent to the termination of her parental
11, 2011, an ex parte order of temporary custody in the
interest of Jada M. was granted and vested in DCF. On October
4, 2011, the child was adjudicated neglected and, on that
same date, the court committed the child to the care and
custody of the Department.
matter was tried before the court on January 28, 2016 and
February 1, 2016. The respondent father appeared and was
represented by counsel. The respondent mother was not
represented by counsel and did not appear. Counsel had the
opportunity to examine and call witnesses. The petitioner,
who bears the burden of proof in this matter, introduced
thirteen exhibits and called DCF social worker, William
Texidor. The respondent father testified on his own behalf.
The court had the opportunity to observe the appearance,
demeanor, dress, attitude and general hygiene of the
respondent father and observe his reactions to the evidence
as presented. Further, the court closely observed the
state's witness and determined the validity and
credibility of his testimony.
court finds that it has proper jurisdiction over the matter,
that there are no pending actions affecting the custody of
the minor child, and the parties do not claim these
proceedings implicate the Indian Child Welfare Act. The court
has carefully considered the petition, all of the evidence
and testimony presented, and the arguments of counsel,
according to the standards required by law. On the basis of
the evidence presented and the reasons stated below, the
court finds in favor of the petitioner and hereby terminates
the parental rights of the respective parents, Mercedes M.
and Allen B.
court finds the following facts by clear and convincing
evidence, as of the date of the petition. Practice Book
7, 2011, an Administrative 96-hour hold was issued on behalf
of Jada M. Further, on July 7, 2011, a Motion for an Order of
Temporary Custody along with a Petition of Neglect was filed
on behalf of Jada M. On October 4, 2011, the court
adjudicated the minor child neglected and entered an order of
commitment to DCF and specific steps for Mercedes M.
initial permanency plan hearing was held on August 21, 2012.
A subsequent hearing on the permanency plan was held on
October 25, 2012. On October 25, 2012, the court approved a
permanency plan of termination of parental rights and
adoption for Jada M.
October 28, 2012, the Termination of Parental Rights petition
was filed on behalf of Jada M. and on October 10, 2013, the
court approved a permanency plan of termination of parental
rights and adoption of Jada M.
October 17, 2013, the court ordered suspension of any visits
between Mercedes M. and Jada M.
August 19, 2014, the court approved and ordered a permanency
plan of transfer of guardianship of Jada M. to his paternal
25, 2015, the court approved a permanency plan of transfer of
parental rights and adoption of Jada M.
August 20, 2015, the petitioner, the Commissioner of the
Department of Children and Families, filed a petition for the
termination of parental rights of Jada M., alleging
abandonment and failure to rehabilitate by the respondent
September 17, 2015, the court entered an order of default
against Mercedes M. on the petition for termination of
parental rights. On October 13, 2015, a military affidavit as
to the mother, Mercedes M., was submitted and an order of
default was again entered against the mother.
M. was born in Hartford, Connecticut on December 1, 1983. She
does not have a very healthy relationship with her mother and
is not in communication with her father. She has nine
siblings with whom relationships are strained.
M. and her siblings were raised by her maternal grandmother
due to her mother's substance abuse and multiple
incarcerations. Mercedes M. stated that she did not receive
what she needed physically or mentally from her maternal
M. left high school in the tenth grade. She is currently
unemployed. She has worked as a recruiter for a dental
clinic, a beautician, and a peer counselor; she has also
worked at a daycare center, Pretzel Time, Dick's Sporting
Goods, Kelly Services temporary agency and possibly as an
exotic dancer. She does not receive any state assistance and
has no means of income at this time. She is currently looking
M. has never married. She has had a number of relationships
which have resulted in the birth of her children. Mother has
given birth to seven children:
first child, Trayleek M., whose father is Marco R., was born
August 31, 2000. Her second child, Sincere M., whose father
is Kevin C., was born January 15, 2003. Her third child, Sole
M., whose father is Chan W., was born February 27, 2005. Her
fourth child, Amealyon M., whose father is Juan C., was born
July 29, 2008. Her fifth child, Jada M., whose father is
Allen B., was born April 27, 2012. Her sixth child, Londynn,
whose father is Quincc C., was born May 9, 2011. Her seventh
child, DeShawn R., whose father is Dashawn R., was born March
Mother's children, including Jada M., have been committed
to the care and custody of DCF.
continues to have concerns of substance abuse, mental health
instability and anger management. She has previously
contacted DCF, in a fit of rage, demanding that her children
be removed from her care because she was unable to manage
raising six children.
trial, William Texidor, the DCF social worker assigned to
this case since August 8, 2014, testified that Mother has not
visited Jada since Mr. Texidor started working on this case,
nor has she made any efforts to do so. Mr. Texidor further
testified that he does not know of Mother's present
B. was born on November 5, 1972, and is originally from New
York. Allen B. reports that he met Mercedes M. at a club. At
trial he testified that he was never in a relationship with
Mother. Six months after their original meeting, Mother
informed Allen B. that she was pregnant.
trial, Allen B. testified that a paternity test taken in late
2012 or early 2013 established that he was the father of Jada
B. has been incarcerated since 2009 on drug changes. He was
released from jail on November 2, 2015, to a halfway house in
Hartford where he currently resides. He testified at trial
that he is to be released from the halfway house by April 4,
incarcerated, Father took a number of courses to improve
himself. At trial he entered several certificates of
achievement into evidence demonstrating courses he has
completed. Currently, Allen B. is employed as a car salesman.
testified that he would like Jada M. to live with him and his
fiancé . Father's fiancé works in the
pediatric section at a hospital and has a three-year-old
was born on April 27, 2010, to Mercedes M. and Allen B. in
Hartford, Connecticut. Since birth, Jada M. has experienced
four different placements.
entering care, Jada M. was placed with his maternal aunt,
Latoya M. She had difficulty meeting the needs of Jada M. and
three of his siblings and asked for their removal. Jada M.
then resided in a licensed foster home from December 1, 2011
to November 7, 2013. On November 7, 2013, Jada M. was placed
with his paternal aunt, Ledwayna B. On February 15, 2015, as
a result of allegations of physical abuse, Jada M. was
removed from paternal aunt's care and placed in the
foster home where he currently resides.
can be very serious, but he has a warm smile. He enjoys
engaging in sports activities, playing with action ...