Termination of Parental Rights Due Process Violation.

Byline: Derek Hawkins

WI Court of Appeals District III

Case Name: B.W., v. S.H.,

Case No.: 2021AP43; 2021AP44

Officials: SEIDL, J.

Focus: Termination of Parental Rights Due Process Violation

S.H. appeals from orders entered in two cases, now consolidated on appeal, terminating his parental rights to his two children on the grounds of the continuing denial of his periods of physical placement under WIS. STAT. 48.415(4). S.H. argues that 48.415(4) facially violates his constitutional right to equal protection under the law. It does so, he contends, because it allows for parental rights to be terminated through a family court order without proof that such order denying the parental placement contained a warning that the parent's rights could be terminated if that order remained unchanged, whereas proof of such a warning is required for termination under 48.415(4) for juvenile court actions. S.H. further argues that the right of parents to have a relationship with their child is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, thereby triggering strict scrutiny review that 48.415(4) cannot survive. S.H. also contends that 48.415(4), as applied to him, violates his right to equal protection because the underlying family court order that B.W...

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