IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF IOWA IN AND FOR LINN COUNTY
IN THE INTEREST OF )
VLADIMIR KAIM ) JVJV 28377
D.O.B. 8-15-02 )
) CASE NO.
LUCRETIA KAIM ) JVJV 28378
D.O.B. 12-28-04 )
) ORDER RE:
) TERMINATION OF
) PARENTAL RIGHTS
This matter came before the Court for hearing on the State’s Petition for termination
of parental rights. Present representing the State of Iowa was Assistant Linn County Attorney
Robert Hruska. The children were not present but were represented by attorney and guardian
ad litem Cindy Finley. The children’s mother, Denelle Kaim, was present personally and was
represented by attorney Kara McFadden. The children’s father, Nikita Kaim, was not personally
present but was represented by attorney Henry Keyes. Kelly Morgan was present on behalf of
the Iowa Department of Human Services. The children’s paternal grandparents appeared also.
The State moved to amend the petition to include allegations pursuant to Iowa Code
Section 232.116(1)(f). Hearing no objection, the amendment was allowed.
The matter proceeded to hearing and the Court received testimony and evidence,
including State’s Exhibits 1 and 2, the affidavit prepared by Kelly Morgan which was attached to
the petition, and Mother’s Exhibits A and B. At the close of evidence, the Court indicated that a
written ruling would be provided.
FINDINGS OF FACT
This Court has jurisdiction of Vladimir Kaim and Lucretia Kaim. Vladimir Kaim is
a seven year old child, having been born on August 15, 2002. Lucretia Kaim was born on
December 28, 2004 and is five years old. The children’s interests in these proceedings were
represented by attorney and guardian ad litem Cindy Finley.
Denelle Kaim and Nikita Kaim were each given due and timely notice of the
proceedings. Nikita is represented by attorney Henry Keyes in the termination action as well
as in the underlying child in need of assistance action. Denelle is represented by attorney Kara
McFadden in the termination action as well as the underlying child in need of assistance action.
The Court has jurisdiction as to the parties in interest.
Vladimir and Lucretia Kaim are the children of Nikita and Denelle Kaim. This family
first came to the attention of the Department of Human Services in 2003 through a child abuse
assessment that was unfounded. In total, the Kaim family has been the subject of at least nine
child abuse assessments with at least four founded reports for denial of critical care due to either
the condition of the family home, domestic violence or lack of supervision of the children. On
November 15, 2005, police officers were called to the Kaim home because of a domestic
disturbance. The officers went into the home and became concerned for the safety of the children
due to the condition of the home, so the Department of Human Services was called. Police
officer Stone observed and provided the following description in his written report:
“While taking pictures of the residence and
determining the safety of the children I observed cigarette papers on
the floor, small pieces of wood which Nikita advised was from his
son tearing apart a chest that was made of wicker. Clothes were
strewn on the floor and appeared to have not had laundry done in
weeks. Nikita had commented that finances were tight and money
was not there to clean clothes. On the couch was a piece of 2x4
which was unknown where or what it had come from. A piece of
wood that was on the floor was picked up by Lucretia while in
Denelle’s arms. Denelle did not notice what the child had picked up
until mentioned by officers. The piece of wood was later found
thrown on the bed of the parent’s in the next room and was observed
with two rather long nails protruding from it. At any time that could
have poked the child and injured her face or body. The kitchen had
dishes all over the sink. Dirt infested water filled the sink. The high
chair for Lucretia to sit at supper time was caked with dried food and
gnats, cat food and water was on the top of the table as was the cat at
the time of call. The garbage was full and the wall behind it was
gunked with dried liquids and food particles. The stove was caked
with food and between the stove and fridge was a black gunk that
appeared to have been spilled foods and oils. The refrigerator was
full, but had spoiled food and was moldy and dirt infested. It was
apparent that the house had not been picked up in months possible a
year or more. …Nikita and Denelle were unable to stop verbally
arguing in the presence of DHS.”
At the time this incident occurred, Nikita was employed and Denelle was providing
primary care to the children. Denelle and Nikita reported concerns with Vladimir’s behavior and
said that they were begging for help with Vladimir. Denelle said that she could not take care of
the children and do all of the housework. The Department of Human Services arranged with the
family for the children to be placed temporarily with their paternal grandmother while the
parents cleaned the home. Approximately two weeks later, the Department of Human Services
returned to the home and found that the parents had cleaned the home such that it was
determined to be safe for the children to reside there. Two weeks following that, the Department
of Human Services received another report alleging that the home was again unsafe for the
children. The Department immediately sent a social worker out to observe the home, and she
reported that conditions had indeed deteriorated since the children were returned home. She
observed small objects on the floor e.g. pennies, pieces of rattan. She also observed that the
home was very cluttered, with pathways through piles of clothing on the floor. The garbage was
overflowing. The parents were advised as to the cleaning that needed to be done so that the
children could remain in the home and they agreed to complete the task. The Department
completed a child abuse assessment a founded report was placed upon the register for denial of
critical care, lack of appropriate shelter, with both parents responsible. The family agreed to
participate in voluntary services offered by the Department of Human Services, which included
parenting, protective daycare and drop in supervision.
On December 18, 2006, the Department of Human Services received another report
alleging that the children’s home was a health and safety hazard. On that date, Marion Police
officers were called to the family home due to a report of domestic abuse between Nikita and
Denelle. The police officers noted that the children were in close proximity to the domestic
violence and also that the condition of the home created a health and safety hazard for the
children. The police officers contacted the Department of Human Services and social worker
Roberta Hinman was assigned to complete another child abuse assessment. Roberta observed
and reported the following:
“As this worker entered the home’s living room area, I
could not walk in a clear path. There were so many items: i.e.
clothes, toys and food on the floor it was difficult to walk through the
home. The police stated the parents had agreed to have Nick’s
mother, Sandra Green, come to the home to pick up the children for
the weekend to allow the parents time to clean the home…..The
police stated there was cat feces on the floor, as well as very stained
carpet. It appeared the animals did their “daily duty” and it was never
cleaned in the living room and dining room area. The floors had
many objects that a young child could put in their mouth and choke
(small toy parts, batteries, pennies, pins, staples and other small
debris). In the kitchen, there were no clean dishes, there was mold on
the cupboards and in the kitchen sink. Officers opened the
refrigerator and there was moldy food. The refrigerator and kitchen
looked as if they had not been cleaned in a long time. Someone had
made something in a blender, it spilled down the cupboard, and it was
just left there to turn to mold. There was no clean space on the
kitchen counter. The kitchen floor was cluttered, very dirty with
cans, food containers with moldy food in them were on the floor as
well as on top of the stove. There were fruit flies in the kitchen as
well. There was a high chair in the kitchen that was very dirty with
layers of food dried and crusted on it. It seemed the daughter ate in
her high chair, but it was not cleaned each time she ate her meals.
There was also garbage overflowing in several areas of the home
which had a foul smell as if it had not been taken outside for
sometime. The bedrooms were full of items, and I was unsure where
children could even sleep with so much clutter. The clutter was also
piled high, and could fall on small children hurting them. The parents
bedroom door could not be opened as there was so much clutter and
clothes in the room. If there was fire, I am not sure how fast the
parents could get to the children to assist them. The bathroom was
dirty and unsanitary. I am not sure how anyone could be clean after
taking a bath as it looked like no one cleaned the bathroom in months.
I told the parents the home was unfit for children to live in and
needed cleaning before the children could come home. The parents
began to scream at each other for not cleaning. Denelle stated she
works part-time and Nick refuses to clean. Nick does not have
employment. Both parents stood in front of the police, this worker
and the children and screamed at each other.”
At the time of this incident, Nikita was no longer working and was providing primary
care of the children while Denelle had part time employment. Roberta met with the family and
determined that the children could not remain in the family home until it was cleaned. Roberta
then assisted Nikita and Denelle in developing a plan for the children. Nikita and Denelle
agreed that Vladimir and Lucretia would again stay temporarily with their paternal grandmother,
Sandra Green, while they worked to improve the condition of their home. After completing her
child abuse assessment, Roberta Hinman determined that the allegations of denial of critical care
were accurate and another founded report of child abuse, with Nikita and Denelle as responsible
parties, was placed upon the registry.
Vladimir and Lucretia again returned to their parent’s home by early January of 2007.
However, Roberta Hinman remained concerned regarding the children’s safety given the number
of child abuse assessments completed regarding the same issue and due to the fact that the
parents were continuing to struggle with maintaining the cleanliness of their home. Additionally,
Roberta identified issues regarding Denelle’s mental health and Nikita’s physical health as issues
which needed to be addressed to assure the safety and welfare of the children. As a result of her
concerns regarding ongoing safety of the children, Roberta initiated a child in need of assistance
petition for Vladimir and Lucretia.
At hearing held on April 27, 2007, all parties stipulated that Vladimir and Lucretia should
be adjudicated to be children in need of assistance pursuant to Iowa Code Sections 232.2(6)
(c)(2), (6)(g) and (6)(n). The Court was informed at that hearing that due to domestic abuse
charges, the parents were no longer residing together. Denelle was residing with friends and
Nikita remained in the family home with the children. Nikita and Denelle continued, however,
to share care of the children. Pending disposition, the Court ordered that the parents should not
be together with the children unless they were in a public place or supervised by a neutral third
party. The Court also ordered mental health evaluations for both parents. The parents were
working with a number of services, including parenting instruction, drop in supervision, referrals
for domestic violence counseling, mental health evaluations and individual counseling, and
daycare services, in effort to prevent the need to remove the children from the parent’s care.
On May 22, 2007, while dispositional hearing was pending, Denelle was at the family
residence to return the children to their father. Denelle and Nikita began arguing and failed to
notice when Vladimir, who was then aged four, walked away from their home. Vladimir was
located approximately four blocks from home, at a busy intersection, by Marion Police Officers.
The police contacted the Department of Human Services and social worker Cathy Razavi was
assigned to complete a child abuse assessment. Just a few days prior to this incident, Vladimir
was found, alone and unsupervised at the public library. On that earlier occasion, Vladimir had
again left the family home unnoticed and walked several blocks on his own. When Cathy Razavi
arrived at the Kaim home, she observed and reported the following:
“While in the home I was able to observe the home to be
filthy, cluttered with clothing, paper, boxes, and hangers strewn all
over the floor. I was able to identify that food was sitting out on
the countertops. I observed macaroni in a bowl that was hardened
and appeared to be several days old. There was dirty dishes on the
countertops and table. There was food particles on the carpet. The
carpet was filthy. After standing in one place and then stepping to
another, I could feel my shoes sticking to the floor. The home was
extremely warm with small insects identified. There was no clean
surface to prepare food. I observed straight pins on the floor. The
back door contained a piece of broken plexiglass that was attempted
to be sealed with caulk. The home has a front door that had boxes in
front of it. I was able to note that the kitchen trash was overflowing
and spilling over on the floor. The home reeked of stale garbage and
dirty diapers. The condition of the home did not meet even the lowest
level of safety for two and four year old children. Outside the side
door, there was a trash bag ripped open with food and diapers seeping
out. It had attracted approximately a dozen flies. The front exit has
no stairs to walk out.”
The Department of Human Services determined that the children could no longer be
safely maintained in their parent’s care and an order to remove the children from parental
custody was requested. That order was granted and the children were placed in foster family
care pending disposition.
Nikita and Denelle had earlier requested that Vladimir be evaluated for Asperger’s
syndrome, as they believed that his behavior supported that diagnosis. In addition to the
parent’s difficulty with maintaining supervision of Vladimir, his behavior was becoming more
aggressive. Dr. Sinda Eggerman completed an evaluation in May of 2007. Dr. Eggerman
concluded that Vladimir’s problems were primarily environmental in nature. She concluded
that, if Vladimir was in a more consistent and positive environment, he would not be showing
the symptoms that he showed, except for his language delay. She recommended that Vladimir
participate in individual therapy.
Dispositional hearing was held on May 31, 2007 and June 6, 2007. Dispositional order
was entered on June 12, 2007 and the Court ordered that the children remain in foster family care
due to the condition of the family home, the volatile nature of the parents’ relationship, and the
parents’ difficulty in providing the children with adequate supervision. Additionally, Denelle
and Nikita were about to be evicted and had no immediate plan for housing. Denelle and Nikita
decided that they wanted to resume living together as soon as they could locate housing.
Denelle and Nikita were each required to complete a mental health evaluation and follow
through with recommended treatment. Nikita’s evaluation was completed by Dr. Ronald Nelson
on September 17, 2007. Dr. Nelson noted that Nikita had a past diagnosis of post traumatic
stress disorder, related to early childhood abuse. However, Dr. Nelson found no significant
symptoms of that condition at the time of the evaluation. Dr. Nelson reported that Nikita was of
average intelligence, cognitively intact and presently free of any marked emotional disturbance.
Dr. Nelson also reported that Nikita’s test results indicated that Nikita had a tendency to over
control anger to the point that it is expressed in either passive-aggressive manners and/or verbal
outbursts of aggression. Dr. Nelson stated concerns regarding Nikita’s marital situation because
of the level of anger, verbal and even physical aggression. However, Dr. Nelson recommended
that Nikita participate in individual therapy focusing on anger issues and personality issues prior
to relationship therapy.
Denelle’s evaluation was completed on August 21, 2007 by Dr. Paul Eggerman. Dr.
Eggerman’s diagnosis included personality disorder with borderline features, and depressive
disorder, in remission. Dr. Eggerman found no current symptoms of depression, and noted that
Denelle reported that her depression symptoms were seasonal, and that she took medication in
the fall and winter. Dr. Eggerman noted that Denelle had superior intellectual functioning and at
least some superficial social skills. His biggest concern was Denelle’s relationship with Nikita
and that she might not be entirely realistic in terms of how she assesses that relationship. Dr.
Eggerman recommended relationship therapy and individual therapy for Denelle.
By August of 2007, Denelle and Nikita had obtained a new residence and both were
working. Although their new home was also somewhat messy, it was not the health and safety
hazard that their previous residence was. Denelle and Nikita maintained regular visitation with
the children and the visitation progressed to semi-supervised visitation in the fall of 2007. Nikita
and Denelle participated in individual and couples counseling. However, their relationship
continued to be unstable. In November of 2007, police were called to their home due to a report
of domestic disturbance. Nikita and Denelle repeatedly engaged in loud verbal arguments which
were witnessed by others, including the children. The couple decided to separate, then to
reunite. The visitation was returned to fully supervised status. However, when Nikita began to
participate in therapy with Virgil Gooding, the couple’s relationship began to improve. Mr.
Gooding recommended that the couple continue in intensive therapy for a long time to develop a
healthy relationship. In a report filed with the Court in January of 2008, the Department of
Human Services recommended that efforts toward family reunification continue.
On May 30, 2008, Vladimir and Lucretia began a trial home placement with their
parents. As part of the plan for the trial home placement, the Department of Human Services
arranged for protective daycare for the children. Denelle and Nikita were living together and
maintaining suitable housing. Denelle was employed, working at two part time jobs. Nikita was
not working. In home parenting services and drop in supervision was also provided to the
On August 17, 2008, Vladimir was found on the median of Highway 100 in Marion.
Police officers were called, and recognizing Vladimir from earlier incidents, they went to the
parent’s home. When they arrived, Nikita refused to allow the police officers into the home
without a warrant. He told the police officers that the home was not in order. Nikita told police
officers that he was cooking and hadn’t noticed that Vladimir was gone. Denelle told police
officers that they noticed Vladimir was not in the house when it was time to sit down for dinner.
Denelle left the house to look for Vladimir as the police were returning him to the home. After
Vladimir was returned to his parents, Nikita called him a “fucking retard” and a “piece of shit”.
The Department of Human Services was contacted and child abuse assessor Roberta
Fuchs came to the home. She observed old food on the floor, clothes all over the floor, garbage
in the living room and kitchen, dirty dishes and old food on the kitchen table and counters.
Roberta told the parents that the home needed to be cleaned for the children to be safe, but she
did not remove the children from the home.
Within two weeks of Roberta’s contact, the family home continued to be a health and
safety hazard. To assist the family in maintaining the children, Kelly Morgan, the Department of
Human Services case manager assigned to work with this family, and Eric Lehman, the in home
service provider, went to the Kaim’s home to help them clean. They observed cigarette butts in
the children’s room. They observed cat feces throughout the apartment. Nikita and Denelle told
them they had taken six or seven cats to the humane shelter, but planned to keep the four
remaining in their home. The home was cluttered and generally unclean. After helping to get the
home cleaned up, Kelly Morgan advised Nikita and Denelle that they needed to maintain the
home in that condition for the trial home placement to continue.
Throughout the trial home placement, Denelle and Nikita continued to have serious
difficulties with their relationship. They blamed each other for the condition of the home and the
problems with supervision of the children. Denelle accused Nikita of playing video games all
day when he should be cleaning up the home. Nikita accused Denelle of spending all of her time
on the computer when she was home, rather than helping with household chores. Neither parent
took responsibility for the condition of the home and the need to supervise the children. Their
conflicts over these issues led to frequent arguments. On August 25, 2008, the police were again
called to their home due to a domestic disturbance. Nikita and Denelle agreed to return to
Other issues of concern during the trial home placement included the cleanliness of the
children, Vladimir’s increasing aggression, and the family’s financial stability. Daycare and
school personnel reported that the children were not clean and that they were not dressed
appropriately. Vladimir came to school without underwear or with dirty underwear on. Vladimir
became upset with his mother because she would not read to him and he either hit or squeezed
the family’s pet guinea pig, which died the next day. After this incident, Nikita called Vladimir
a murderer and compared him to Jeffrey Dahmer. The family planned a funeral for the guinea
pig, which Vladimir would not be allowed to attend. Vladimir also threatened to kill Lucretia,
resulting in the parents having Lucretia sleep in the living room rather than in the room shared
with Vladimir. In general, the children did not follow their parent’s directions. They were prone
to tantruming when things do not go their way and their parents continued to have difficulty in
managing and modifying this behavior. Nikita continued to be unemployed and the family was
without sufficient income to meet basic needs. Their utility bills went unpaid. The family also
reported concerns regarding having enough food. Despite all these issues, the Department of
Human Services continued to support the children’s placement with the parents and continued to
work with the parents to remedy the issues which caused the children to continue to be at risk of
harm so as to prevent another removal of these children from parental care.
On October 27, 2008, Kelly Morgan and Cindy Finley, the children’s attorney, had a
scheduled appointment to meet with the family at their home. Cindy Finley arrived on time and
was let into the home by the children. Cindy called out several times, trying to locate an adult in
the home, but received no response. After about twenty five minutes, Kelly Morgan arrived at
the home. Kelly instructed Vladimir to go upstairs and get his dad, which Vladimir did. Nikita
then came downstairs and apologized to Kelly and Cindy, saying that he was upstairs cleaning.
Nikita stated that Denelle left for work and did not set the door alarms as she should have. Kelly
talked to Nikita about the fact that while he was upstairs, the children were totally unsupervised
downstairs for at least a half an hour. Kelly informed Nikita that she was ending the trial home
placement and she made arrangements for the children to be returned to foster family care.
Initially, following the children’s return to foster family care, Nikita and Denelle planned
to continue to live together and work to have the children returned to their care together.
However, by early December 2008, Nikita moved from the family home to Clinton, where he
resided with a brother. Nikita reported to the Department that the home where he was staying
would not be appropriate for the children. Denelle remained in the family apartment. She was
able to get financial assistance from her father to maintain the home. Denelle agreed to
participate in individual counseling, domestic violence counseling and parenting and she has
Denelle had difficulty getting the home cleaned, but by late January of 2009, after
enlisting the help of friends, she had made considerable progress and Denelle’s visitation with
the children returned to the home. Since then, Nick Dusil, the service provider supervising the
visitation, testified that the condition of the home is regressing, although it is not currently
unsafe. The most recent concerns noted by Nick included the presence of chemicals in an area
accessible to the children and Lucretia finding and taking back to her foster home a blanket
soaked with cat urine. Nick also has ongoing concerns regarding Denelle’s ability to supervise
both of the children at the level they require. He testified that his supervision of the visitation
continues to be necessary to assure that the children are safe.
Denelle has also continued to have financial issues. Heat to her apartment was shut off
just prior to the beginning of this hearing, when she failed to make a payment. Denelle has other
unpaid utility bills. Denelle has continued to be marginally employed. Denelle has been offered
assistance with budgeting and money management, but she has declined that service.
Nikita has since moved to Virginia, and has had no in person contact with the children
since Christmas of 2008. He is not participating in any of the services offered by the Department
of Human Services. Although the parents are not currently having in person contact, Denelle
reports that Nikita continues to harass her via telephone and the internet. Denelle states that it is
her intent to obtain a divorce from Nikita. Nikita testified that he is not in a position to take care
of his children. It is also his opinion that Denelle is also unable to take care of the children.
Nikita testified in support of termination of parental rights and placement for adoption. It is his
hope that the children would be placed with paternal relatives.
Denelle testified that she is ready to resume care of the children. Denelle testified to her
belief that, now that Nikita is no longer living with her, she will be able to maintain the house,
supervise the children and provide them with adequate food, clothing and shelter. However, in
assessing Denelle’s ability to meet the basic needs of her children, even absent the stress of her
relationship with Nikita, the Court comes to a different conclusion. Denelle has a several year
history of being unable to maintain a safe and sanitary home for her children. While the
dynamics of the relationship between Nikita and Denelle contributed to that situation, Nikita’s
absence does not necessarily remedy the situation. Even after Nikita moved away, Denelle was
unable to get her home cleaned up. With assistance of friends to tell her what to do, she was able
to do so at the end of January so that visitation with the children could occur in the family home.
However, after that clean up, Nick Dusil testified that the condition of the home has regressed.
This is the same pattern of behavior which led to the removal of the children. Denelle does not
recognize health and safety hazards on her own and has not shown the ability to consistently
address health and safety issues without supervision. She has continued to have difficulty
supervising both children.
Denelle clearly focuses on Nikita as the source of the family’s problems. While Nikita
certainly bears significant responsibility for the conditions of the home, the lack of supervision
and attention to the children, and the dysfunctional relationship between him and Denelle,
Denelle also bears responsibility for those things. Both Nikita and Denelle were, at times, the
responsible for initiating the incidents of physical and verbal aggression that occurred between
them. Both Denelle and Nikita had the ability to take care of basic household duties, but both
chose not to, and then chose to point the finger at the other. Both Denelle and Nikita were
responsible for incidents where the children were not adequately supervised. Denelle’s lack of
insight as to her responsibility for the children’s care and her belief that without Nikita in the
home, the safety issues for these children have been eliminated, is very concerning.
Vladimir and Lucretia each have special needs. They both have speech deficits. Vladimir
may have some form of autism. The children require a higher than average level of structure and
supervision. The children are bonded to their mother and have shown the ability to bond to
others. The lack of permanency for these children contributes to their behavioral issues.
Clearly, neither of these children could be placed with either parent without remaining a
child in need of assistance. Nikita acknowledges that he is not able to meet the children’s basic
needs and that he cannot resume care of the children. Nikita has not maintained consistent
contact with the children. Nikita has not shown that he has addressed his own adult issues, which
would assist him in being able to resume care of the children. Nikita and Denelle’s relationship
has included both physical and verbal aggression and both Nikita and Denelle have been the
aggressor in these incidents. Denelle clearly would like to have a continuing relationship with
the children. Unfortunately, she is not currently able to provide for their basic needs and that is
very unlikely to change in the near future. Denelle has not demonstrated the ability to maintain
safe, clean housing without supervision and assistance. She has not consistently demonstrated
the ability to supervise the children. Lucretia and Vladimir require more consistency and
structure than average and neither parent is able to provide this.
Vladimir and Lucretia are adoptable children. They are young and personable. The
children each have behavioral and emotional difficulties and require a heightened degree of
structure and supervision. The children clearly are in need of permanent placement, a sense of
security and consistent, effective parenting.
Having fully reviewed the evidence and having entered findings of fact, the Court finds
that the State has met its burden of proof in establishing that statutory grounds for termination of
the parental rights of both Nikita and Denelle exist in this case pursuant to Iowa Code Sections
232.116 (1)(d) and (f). Further, the Court finds that the State has met its burden of proof in
establishing that statutory grounds for termination of parental rights of the Nikita Kaim exists in
this case pursuant to Iowa Code Sections 232.116(1)(a).
The Court, having found that the State has established statutory grounds to support
its contention that the parents’ rights should be terminated, must now consider whether the
termination would be in the best interests of these children. Iowa Code sections 232.116(2) and
232.116(3). The Court must base its decision on each parent’s history, not just their promises
at trial. The Court must make a determination as to what the future most likely holds for these
children if returned to the care of a parent.
The best evidence for this determination is the parent’s past performance because that
performance may indicate the quality of future care they are capable of giving. In re: J.K. and
J.K. 495 NW 2d 108 (Iowa 1993), citing In re M.M. 483 NW 2d 812, 814 (Iowa 1992).
unlikely that a child would be safe or have their basic needs met on a long-term basis if placed in
the care of either their mother or either father. Nikita has abandoned his children. He has not
demonstrated the ability to meet their basic needs. He has a history of inadequate supervision of
the children and has not demonstrated that this has improved. Nikita is not able to provide the
children with suitable housing and was not able to progress to unsupervised visitation. Denelle
continues to voice a strong commitment to her children and to resuming their care. However,
Denelle has not demonstrated the ability to meet the children’s basic needs on a consistent,
everyday basis. Denelle has not been able to provide the children with safe, clean housing and
has not been able to progress to unsupervised visitation. Denelle has a history of inadequate
supervision of the children and has not demonstrated sufficient improvement such that the
children could be returned to her care. Lucretia and Vladimir are special needs children and
require above average structure, supervision and parenting skills. Neither parent has
demonstrated the ability to provide this to the children. Based on the parent’s actions, and
sometimes lack of action, during the course of the child in need of assistance proceedings, the
Court finds that neither parent is likely to be ready to resume care of these children in the
reasonably near future. The Court finds that termination of parental rights is in the best interests
of these children.
“A court must reasonably limit the time for parents to be in a position to assume care
of their children because patience with parents can soon translate into intolerable hardship for
the children.” In Re A.Y.H., 508 N.W.2d 92, 96 (Iowa Ct. App 1996). “The crucial days of
childhood cannot be suspended while parents experiment with ways to face up to their own
problems. “ In Re D.A., 506 N.W.2d 478,479 (Iowa Ct. App. 1993). “At some point, the rights
and needs of the children rise above the rights and needs of the parents.” In Re J.L.W., 570
N.W.2d 778, 781 (Iowa Ct. App. 1997).
Thus, it is the decision of the Court that the children’s need for permanency, security,
safety, physical and intellectual health dictates that it is in their best interests to have parental
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
That the parental rights existing between the minor children, Vladimir and Lucretia
Kaim, and their father, Nikita Kaim, be hereby TERMINATED.
Each of these parent’s past performance causes the Court to believe that it is very
That the parental rights existing between the minor children, Vladimir Kaim and Lucretia
Kaim, and their mother, Denelle Kaim, be hereby terminated.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED:
That custody and guardianship of Vladimir and Lucretia is placed with the Iowa
Department of Human Services for purposes of continued placement according to the prior
orders of this Court and for preadoptive placement. The Department of Human Services is
ordered to prepare an amended case permanency plan within thirty days of the date of this
order setting out the change to termination of parental rights and preadoptive placement for the
children. Further, the Department of Human Services shall prepare a case progress report, which
shall come on for written progress report review by this Court on May 3, 2010. Counsel for the
parties shall be served copies of said report five days prior to the date set for review.
Further, the parties are hereby notified that an aggrieved party may appeal this order.
Appeal of this order by an aggrieved party must be taken pursuant to Iowa Rule of Appellate
Procedure 6.5(2), which requires that the notice of appeal must be filed within fifteen days of the
entry of this order and that a petition on appeal must be filed within fifteen days thereafter.
Clerk to notify.
Dated this 9th day of March, 2010.
Associate Juvenile Judge
Sixth Judicial District of Iowa