court of appeals

SPOKANE – The state Court of Appeals for Division 3 agreed with an Okanogan County Superior Court ruling that a woman’s parental rights be terminated.

The woman, identified in court documents as R.G., appealed the termination.

The case stems from a February 2015 action by the state Department of Children, Youth and Families decision to remove A.G., then 10 years old, from her mother. The removal occurred after a long history of reports of domestic violence in the home between R.G. and the father of one of her other children, illegal drug use, unstable housing and neglect of the minor child.

The department also identified R.G.’s mental health condition as a source of concern.

R.G. was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and the trial court ordered her to attend therapy, but she quit attending, said court records. She also did not initially cooperate with a referral for a psychological evaluation and, when one was begun, she continued to be uncooperative, court records said.

The doctor involved determined R.G. was unable to parent and was not likely to change because of R.G.’s unwillingness to engage in services, her lack of empathy toward A.G. and her lack of insight into how her negative functioning affected the child.

R.G. did not show up for the first parental rights termination trial in December 2017. Her parental rights were terminated.

A second termination trial was scheduled after the department set aside the termination order based on concerns involving dismissal of a guardian ad litem for R.G.

After a second termination trial in May 2019, the child’s guardian ad litem supported termination of parental rights. The doctor testified that R.G.’s unwillingness to attend services was unlikely to change and, even if she did participate, it would be years before she would be a fit parent.

The court again terminated R.G.’s parental rights. R.G. then appealed.

The appeals court decision was filed Oct. 6 and was written by Judge Robert Lawrence-Berry with Laurel Siddoway and Kevin Korsmo concurring.

R.G. was represented by Skylar Texas Brett, Seattle. The respondent’s attorney was Dale Leroy Lehrman, Wenatchee.

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