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In re Donald B.

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

April 16, 2019

IN RE INTEREST OF DONALD B. AND DEVIN B., CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE. STATE OF NEBRASKA, APPELLEE,
v.
CANDICE I., appellant.

         1. Juvenile Courts: Appeal and Error. An appellate court reviews juvenile cases de novo on the record and reaches a conclusion independently of the juvenile court's findings.

         2. Parental Rights: Proof. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-292 (Reissue 2016), in order to terminate parental rights, the State must prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that one or more of the statutory grounds listed in the section have been satisfied and that termination is in the child's best interests.

         3. Juvenile Courts: Parental Rights. A court may accept a parent's in-court admission as to all or any part of the allegations in a petition for the termination of parental rights.

         4.___: ___ . When a parent admits all or part of the allegations in a petition for termination of parental rights, the court must still ascertain a factual basis for the admission.

          Appeal from the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County: Chad M. Brown, Judge. Affirmed.

          John J. Ekeh, of Ekeh Law Office, for appellant.

          Donald W. Kleine, Douglas County Attorney, and Natalie Killion for appellee.

          Moore, Chief Judge, and Pirtle and Arterburn, Judges.

         [27 Neb.App. 127] Arterburn, Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Candice I. appeals from an order of the separate juvenile court of Douglas County that terminated her parental rights with respect to her son Devin B. On appeal, Candice argues that the juvenile court erred in accepting her admission to allegations in the termination motion as a voluntary relinquish-ment of her parental rights to Devin. She also argues that the court erred in terminating her parental rights with respect to one of her sons but not the other. Based on the following, we affirm the juvenile court's decision.

         BACKGROUND

         Candice is the mother of two sons: Donald B., who was born in July 2003, and Devin, who was born in October 2004. On January 11, 2018, the State filed a third motion for termination of Candice's parental rights with respect to both of her sons. A hearing on the motion was held on June 8, at which time the parties advised the court that they had negotiated an agreement. Candice agreed to enter an admission to certain allegations contained in the third motion for termination as it related to Devin, and the State agreed in exchange to dismiss the motion's remaining allegations and remove Donald from the motion altogether. The State and Candice agreed that her admission would be treated as a voluntary relinquishment of her parental rights with respect to Devin so as to prevent the State or any other party from using the termination of her rights as to Devin against her with respect to Donald or any other child.

         In accepting the parties' agreement, the court began by advising Candice of her rights and the possible consequences of the agreement. The court then discussed the terms of the parties' agreement before reviewing the motion's specific counts that Candice was admitting were true. Candice admitted that ...


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