Assigned on Briefs October 1, 2019
from the Chancery Court for Rutherford County No. 18-CV-1243
Darrell Scarlett, Chancellor
parental termination case, the petitioners sought termination
of the parental rights of mother and the unknown father based
upon four statutory grounds, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann.
§ 36-1-113(g)(2018). Following a hearing on the
petition, the trial court entered an amended order holding
that there was clear and convincing evidence sufficient to
terminate the parents' rights for abandonment based upon
their failure to support and failure to visit the minor
child. By the same quantum of proof, the court found that
termination is in the child's best interest. The trial
court, however, failed to address all of the grounds for
termination raised in the petition. The trial court's
judgment was not final. Accordingly, this appeal is remanded
for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right Appeal Dismissed for Lack of
Jurisdiction; Case Remanded
Whitney H. Raque, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Rebecca L. Lashbrook, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the
appellees, T.G. and A.G.
Dumat, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Guardian ad Litem for A.S.W.
appearance by or on behalf of unknown father.
Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which Andy D. Bennett and Carma Dennis McGee, JJ.,
CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE
January 2016, mother, A.W., visited a church attended by the
petitioners, T.G. and A.G. During prayer, mother announced to
the congregation that she needed child-care assistance in the
evening for her daughter, A.S.W. A.G. operated a child care
business in her home. She offered to assist mother with
evening child care. Mother placed the child in the care of
petitioners; the child has resided with them almost
January 31, 2018, A.S.W. was adjudicated dependent and
neglected. On July 26, 2018, T.G. and A.G. filed a petition
to terminate mother and unknown father's parental rights.
Mother has an extensive criminal history, which includes
prostitution; mother was engaged in prostitution at the time
of the conception of the child; therefore the identity of the
father is unknown and deemed unascertainable.
27, 2018, mother was served with a summons and a copy of the
petition while she was incarcerated in Rutherford County. In
response, mother sent a letter to counsel for the petitioners
acknowledging receipt of the documents. On August 3, 2018,
the letter was filed with ...