Termination of Parental Rights
In the Interest of B.T.B. and B.Z.B., 2020 UT 36
Utah Supreme Court
Attorneys: Martha Pierce, LaMar J. Winward; J. Robert Latham
Juvenile Court: Fifth District, Honorable Judge Michael F. Leavitt
Summary: In a private action, a father was accused of neglecting, abandoning his children making only token efforts over five (5) years to contact them. The mother petitioned to terminate his rights. A second parent adoption was not on the table. The appellate court disagreed with previous appellate decisions that the requirement of whether a termination is strictly necessary flowed “almost automatically” from the best interest standard. The Supreme Court upholds the Court of Appeals and finds that strictly necessary must be found and that it is part of the best interest analysis.