In re Interest of Joshua G., a child under 18 years of age.
Fred G., appellant. State of Nebraska, appellee.
Parental Rights: Notice. Proceedings to
terminate parental rights must employ fundamentally fair
procedures satisfying the requirements of due process; this
rule applies to notice requirements.
Parental Rights: Due Process: Notice:
Jurisdiction. In proceedings to terminate parental
rights, once the court acquires jurisdiction over the person,
due process still requires that such person be afforded
reasonable notice of further proceedings.
Service of Process: Notice. Service by
publication under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-268(2) (Reissue
2016) can be made only after a reasonably diligent search
fails to locate the party to be served.
___.A reasonably diligent search for the purpose of
justifying service by publication does not require the use of
all possible or conceivable means of discovery, but is such
an inquiry as a reasonably prudent person would make in view
of the circumstances and must extend to those places where
information is likely to be obtained and to those persons
who, in the ordinary course of events, would be likely to
receive news of or from the absent person.
___. Whether all reasonable means to qualify a search as a
"reasonably diligent" one have been exhausted must
be determined by the circumstances of each particular case.
from the County Court for Scotts Bluff County: James M.
Worden, Judge. Affirmed.
J. Knepper, Deputy Scotts Bluff County Public Defender, for
Neb.App. 412] Danielle Larson, Deputy Scotts Bluff County
Attorney, for appellee.
Chief Judge, and Bishop and Arterburn, Judges.
appeals the order of the county court for Scotts Bluff County
which terminated his parental rights to his son, Joshua G. On
appeal, Fred asserts that he was not provided with proper
notice of the termination proceedings because the State's
affidavit for service by publication was legally
insufficient. As a result, Fred argues he was denied his due
process right to participate in the termination proceedings.
For the reasons set forth herein, we find Fred's
assertion to be without merit, and we affirm the decision of
the county court to terminate his parental rights.
juvenile court proceedings below involve Joshua, born in
January 2015, and his parents, Fred and Martha H. Martha
previously relinquished her parental rights to Joshua. As a
result, she is not a party to this appeal and will be
discussed only to the extent necessary to provide context.
10, 2016, when Joshua was almost 18 months old, the State
filed a juvenile court petition alleging that Joshua was a
juvenile as described by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a)
(Supp. 2015) due to the faults or habits of both Fred and
Martha. Specifically, the petition alleged that Fred and
Martha had failed to provide Joshua with safe and stable
housing and with necessary care. In addition, it alleged that
Joshua was at risk for harm due to Fred and Martha's
engaging in domestic violence and using illegal substances.
Fred was personally served with the petition.
appearance hearing was held on May 19, 2016. Fred appeared at
this hearing, affirmed that he had been personally [26
Neb.App. 413] served with a copy of the petition, and entered
a denial to the allegations contained within the petition.
Fred appeared at a subsequently held hearing in ...