In the Matter of AS & AM, 2016 MT 156 (June 28, 2016) (Rice, J.) (5-0, aff’d)
Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion and violated Mother’s constitutional rights by terminating her parental rights; and (2) whether the district court lacked jurisdiction and abused its discretion in terminating Father’s parental rights to AS.
Short Answer: (1) No; and (2) no.
Facts: AS was born in 2011, and AM was born in 2008. DPHHS became involved with the family in 2014 upon receiving reports that Father, Mother, and Mother’s boyfriend were involved with methamphetamine. The department found AS but did not find father. AS was placed into protective custody, and the parents were served by publication.
A few months later, Mother called the department and told a child protective specialist she was in Great Falls and wanted to pick up her daughter. …