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In re K.O.

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

June 14, 2018

In re K.O. et al.

          Assigned on Briefs March 1, 2018

          Appeal from the Juvenile Court for Smith County No. 2017JV46 Michael Collins, Judge

         The trial court terminated the parental rights of A.D.G.[1] to her children, K.O. and K.G. Because the court did not "make[] specific findings of fact and conclusions of law, " Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(k) (2017), we remand the case to the trial court for the entry of an appropriate order.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Case Remanded with Instructions

          Jacquelyn M. Scott, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellant, A.D.G.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, and Alexander S. Rieger, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

          Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Richard H. Dinkins, and Kenny W. Armstrong, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE

         I.

         On appeal, mother raises four issues. We reach only her first issue. The resolution of that issue is dispositive of the other issues. Mother's first issue is as follows:

Did the trial court err in failing to make specific findings of fact to support its ruling that the [Department of Children's Services] had proven the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence?

         We agree with mother that the trial court erred in failing to perform its statutory duty under Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-1-113(k). To its credit, the Department of Children's Services (DCS) acknowledges the trial court's error.

         At the conclusion of the trial, the court made the following statements as taken verbatim from the trial transcript:

[The trial court]: All right. I'll find by clear and convincing evidence abandonment by failure to support with the ability to do so against the father. I find by clear and convincing evidence abandonment, failure to ...

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