Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re T.S.

Supreme Court of Kansas

June 22, 2018

In the Interest of T.S., A Minor Child.

         SYLLABUS

         K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 38-2273 does not provide the right to appeal a denial of a motion to terminate parental rights.

          Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion filed July 7, 2017.

          Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; Daniel T. Brooks, judge.

          Grant A. Brazill, of Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock & Kennedy, Chartered, of Wichita, argued the cause, and Shannon L. Cooper, of Andover, was on the briefs for appellant/cross-appellee.

          Jennifer M. Hill, of McDonald Tinker PA, of Wichita, argued the cause, and Erin Sommer Good, of the same firm, was with her on the briefs for appellee/cross-appellant.

          OPINION

          STEGALL, J.

         In this expedited appeal from a child in need of care (CINC) proceeding under the Kansas Code for Care of Children (Revised Code), K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 38-2201 et seq., we consider whether a Kansas appellate court has jurisdiction to review a denial of a motion to terminate parental rights under K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 38-2273(a). In this case, a grandfather moved to terminate the parental rights of his grandson's parents. The district court appointed the grandfather as the child's permanent custodian but declined to terminate the father's parental rights. The Court of Appeals then dismissed the grandfather's appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Because the plain language of K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 38-2273(a) does not provide the right to appeal the district court's order denying the grandfather's motion, we affirm.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Whether we have jurisdiction is a question of law that, in this case, hinges on statutory interpretation. Kansas Medical Mut. Ins. Co. v. Svaty, 291 Kan. 597, 609, 244 P.3d 642 (2010). Given the narrow question of law presented, we recite only those facts necessary for a basic understanding of the case.

         T.S. was born while his mother (Mother) was incarcerated in 2008. Mother was released from prison a few weeks after his birth. At first, the two lived briefly with Mother's family in Oklahoma. Then they lived with T.S.'s father (Father) in Wichita for a short time. Finally, Mother and T.S. moved in with T.S.'s maternal grandfather (Grandfather) and his wife (collectively, Grandparents) in Wichita. Except for a few months, T.S. has lived with Grandparents his entire life.

         Mother and T.S. lived with Grandparents until April 2013 when Mother allegedly participated in a robbery of Grandparents' home. Grandfather promptly filed a CINC action and requested temporary custody of T.S., citing concerns with Mother's and Father's criminal conduct. The Sedgwick County District Court subsequently granted Grandfather temporary custody of T.S. It also ordered Mother and Father to submit to drug testing and limited them to supervised visitation with T.S. Both parents signed achievement plans with the goal to reintegrate with T.S.

         The district court held an adjudication hearing. Mother stipulated to the allegations in the CINC petition and waived her right to a hearing. After hearing evidence from the remaining parties, the court found T.S. was a child in need of care. The court voiced concerns about Father's criminal history, drug use, and mistreatment of women but noted Father had made some positive progress. In the end, the court ordered that T.S. remain in Grandfather's custody and expanded Father's visitation rights.

         Shortly after that, Grandfather moved for findings of unfitness and termination of Mother's and Father's parental rights or, in the alternative, for an order appointing Grandfather as T.S.'s permanent custodian. Grandfather alleged, among other things, that Father was violent toward Mother, abused ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.