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In re Joseph S.

Supreme Court of Nebraska

July 3, 2014

IN RE INTEREST OF JOSEPH S. ET AL., CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE. STATE OF NEBRASKA, Appellant,
v.
KERRI S., APPELLEE

Page 469

Petition for further review from the Court of Appeals, IRWIN, PIRTLE, and BISHOP, Judges, on appeal thereto from the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County, ELIZABETH CRNKOVICH, Judge.

REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.

Donald W. Kleine, Douglas County Attorney, and Jennifer Chrystal-Clark for appellant.

Thomas C. Riley, Douglas County Public Defender, Christine D. Kellogg, and Zoe Wade for appellee.

Maureen K. Monahan, guardian ad litem.

Robert McEwen and Sarah Helvey, for amicus curiae Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, MCCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ.

OPINION

Page 470

[288 Neb. 464] HEAVICAN, C.J.

INTRODUCTION

The State of Nebraska appealed an order of the separate juvenile court of Douglas County finding the State had failed to present a prima facie case that the three minor children of Kerri S. were within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-292(2) (Cum. Supp. 2012) because Kerri had substantially and continuously or repeatedly neglected and refused to give necessary parental care and protection to the children, and determining that it was not in the best interests of the children to terminate Kerri's parental rights. The Nebraska Court of Appeals held that Kerri's noncompliance with voluntary State-offered services may not serve as a basis to terminate parental rights.[1] We granted the State's petition for further review. Our opinion discusses when procedural due process is triggered in parental rights termination

Page 471

cases. Ultimately, we reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals and remand the cause for further proceedings.

BACKGROUND

Kerri is the biological mother of Joseph S., born in January 2000; William S., born in November 2005; and ...


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