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A.H. v. B.C.

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

April 3, 2015

A.H.
v.
B.C

Appeal from Limestone Juvenile Court. (JU-13-25.01).

MOORE, Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 859

After Remand from the Alabama Supreme Court

MOORE, Judge.

A.H. (" the father" ) appeals from a judgment of the Limestone Juvenile Court (" the juvenile court" ) to the extent that it terminated his parental rights to K.O.C. (" the child" ) upon the petition of B.C. (" the mother" ). See A.H. v. B.C., [Ms. 2120877, Nov. 15, 2013] 178 So.3d 850 (Ala.Civ.App. 2013). We affirm.

Procedural History

" [The mother] gave birth to the child on December 22, 2008. The mother and the father have never married, but the father's paternity was adjudicated by the Limestone District Court on October 25, 2010.
" On February 13, 2013, the mother filed a petition seeking to terminate the father's parental rights to the child. In that petition, the mother alleged that the father had abandoned the child and that he had failed to maintain contact with the child, had failed to adjust his circumstances to fit the needs of the child, and had failed to provide financial support for the child. The mother did not specifically allege that child was dependent, delinquent, or in need of supervision.
" On June 25, 2013, the juvenile court conducted an ore tenus hearing on the mother's petition. The father did not attend the hearing, but he was represented by legal counsel and his attorney was present at that hearing. Although the father's attorney moved to dismiss the proceeding for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, the juvenile court denied that motion. On June 27, 2013, the juvenile court entered a judgment terminating the father's parental rights. In that judgment, the juvenile court did not make a finding that the child is dependent, delinquent, or in need of supervision. The father timely filed his notice of appeal."

A.H. v. B.C., ___ So.3d at ___.

On appeal, the father first argued that, because the mother had not alleged in her petition that the child was dependent, delinquent, or in need of supervision, the juvenile court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. On original submission, this court agreed with the father and concluded that, under Ala. Code 1975, § 12-15-114, because the termination-of-parental-rights proceeding in the present case did not arise out of a dependency, delinquency, or child-in-need-of-supervision proceeding, the juvenile court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction to enter its judgment. ___ So.3d at ___. On certiorari review, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed this court's judgment. Ex parte B.C., [Ms. 1130250, Jan. 30, 2015] 178 So.3d 853 (Ala. 2015). The supreme court held that " 'a juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction under § 12-15-114[, Ala. Code 1975,] over a termination-of-parental-rights claim when the subject of the termination was not a child alleged " to have committed a delinquent act, to be dependent, or to be in need of supervision." '" ___ So.3d at ___ (quoting Ex parte L.J., [Ms. 1121462, Sept. 30, 2014] 176 So.3d 186, ___(Ala. 2014)),

Page 860

and it remanded the cause to this court for us to consider any arguments that had been pretermitted by this court on ...


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