Hey, everyone...I thought I'd take an informal poll here on what you have all seen and experienced thus far with the situation we are facing... FS's birthmom and dad failed to appear at the hearing to set a trial date for TPR...the judge Terminated both of their rights in a "default" decision based on knowledge that they were both served in person, knew of the hearing and the expectations...and failed to respond. Birthmom has now "requested an attorney"(same one she always had, but, whatever!) and there will be a hearing on the "motion to vacate the default order" in this case. Dad has not made any effort thus far to do anything...he has until mid month to do the same if he decides to... What I want to know is...what have you seen? How frequently does the judge go back on his decision to Terminate, when the parents have done *nothing* on their case plan at all to date, are both in jail...and, as he stated...didn't bother to show.(apparently, at least from the few caseworkers I have heard refer to it...this case has everyone on their ear because "this just doesn't happen in our legal system"(meaning the default decision...the judge does not typically do that...he will have parents brought over from the jail and give them chance after chance. ) So, how often do you see the ruling "vacated" , and what was the reasoning if it was? Did they need a good reason? How many of you have seen the judge uphold his original decision, and deny the motion to vacate? Thanks for the input in advance...gives me something to chew on while we wait for the hearing!LOL! :woohoo:
Where I am, default decisions are common -- parents don't show at what we call the "TPR Advisory" and boom, they're defaulted (with 30 days to appeal and assuming that the notices were hand-delivered (similar process as with a subpoena). Default decisions when someone is in jail? Rare. Unless the parent "refused transport" to the courthouse, parents in jail are present at all hearings. My guess would be that the decision will depend on why the parents weren't present -- was it the fault of the delivery system (for the notice), the response system, the transportation system, some other part of the vast system, or the parents? So many variables -- if the breakdown was anywhere other than the parents (regardless of where they are on their case plan), I'd expect the decision to be vacated. Of course, that's based on how things are handled here and without knowing all the gritty details of your case. ;)
The parents were served in person...face to face...in jail. The parents were both given all of the necessary info about their right to request an attorney for this part of the process and their right to request transport to the hearing. Neither parent showed up, in spite of all of that...and neither parent had an attorney present at the hearing(they failed to request one to represent them for the hearing) Both of them...and there is a no contact order between them...kinda weird...the judge stated that given that they both were served in person, knew of the hearing...knew what they needed to do(planned to continue with their current attorneys, and in fact, in mom's case, were still in contact with that attorney and that attorney was emailing the state's attorney asking if their "client"(the state) would consider third party custody as opposed to termination.) I guess the judge actually stated that he was not going to "have them transported"(I took that to mean, insist on them being brought over from the jail) because they had full knowledge of the proceedings and a clear understanding of what they were required to do. So weird...but...I'd say you are correct...it will weigh on what her excuse is for not being there...not having "requested an attorney" for this phase, and not requested/arranged for transport.
Chubbs' birth parents did not contest the TPR but it was issued and they both failed to appear for it. I don't know if we use that language "default" here or not. This was the hearing to terminate rights not to discuss termination of rights. It may be different because they both had a very recent prior termination and Chubbs was born drug addicted, which is why they had the fast-track to TPR.I'd have to know the full background to know if the protest by Biological mom will have any merit, too many factors. My gutt would say No. They could have come, and should have come, if they wanted to protest.
I agree...they were both told to appear...they were told what would happen if they didn't appear. If they had shown up, all that would have happened is a date would be set for the TPR trial. That is what the hearing was for..."trial setting". But, like many other legal issues/charges...if you don't show, it defaults and an order is entered "as if it were so"...the big piece is this caseworker had them served IN her presence, IN jail...face to face...no room for confusion or error. There is another caseworker in the office(Small office...they all know everything) who said she had better have a phenomenal excuse, cause there is no way the judge is just going to "vacate" the order. I guess we'll see...and I just find myself wondering what this typically looks like...
I agree. A judge isn't going to make a stand like that and not stick with it. He could have just continued the hearing. Unless something major happened, it isn't changing. So, like one hearing, FD1's Biological dad's transportation from jail got hosed up, so he got in touch with his attorney and the hearing was continued. (Which was stupid because it was just the hearing to give an extension.) Then, he didn't show up for the next hearing anyway. I think he was still trying to find someone on his side to take his daughter. Sadly, both Biological dads know the truth about the Biological mom and neither wanted them returned to her either, but neither did anything to stop it. So, if the ruling was defaulted, that means TPR was ordered and she is just in the 30 day appeal process? SO, you could be having a very happy Summer this year?
From what I understand, they have 20 days to respond after a default ruling...and, of course, this is her response...so, I am not really sure, after the hearing on the 18th...IF he just sticks with his original decision...whether the 30 days would start then? Or, would there just be 10 more days after that since it would be 30 from the original ruling? I don't think they have actually entered the Order yet...they are waiting to enter it until after the hearing...at least that is my understanding...so, probably the 30 days will start then...???LOL! Who knows!LOL! Hopefully if the judge refuses to go back on his ruling, bmom will just let it go and not try to pursue any further appeal...it would be nice if she just got the point...this was all in her court and she dropped the ball a long time ago and refused to pick it back up. So...here's hoping! Either way, we will work at being grateful for the time we have and have a happy summer...but, yes....if it were to go that way, we'd have a very happy summer as a brand new adoptive mom and dad ahead of us! =D