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A trial court properly terminated the parental rights of a mother and father where clear and convincing existed establishing the child sustained severe physical abuse

The trial court properly granted termination of the respondents-parents' parental rights to the child where the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence and it was in the child's best interests. They pleaded no contest to the statutory grounds §§ (b)(i), (b)(ii), (g), (j), & (k)(iii) and admitted to being the child's sole caretakers. Neither claimed that there was any irregularity as to the pleas. Thus, the argument that there was no clear and convincing evidence to support termination was contrary to the no contest pleas. Regardless, there was clear and convincing evidence to terminate their parental rights under the specified statutory grounds. Although the respondent-mother did not contest the statutory grounds on which the trial court terminated her parental rights, the respondent-father did. Nevertheless, the trial court properly terminated both of their parental rights. In Ellis, as in this case, the "child was not quite seven months old when she was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries." The child's treating doctor testified that the "child's injuries were caused by nonaccidental trauma and that it was evident from the various healing stages of her rib fractures that the injuries occurred in multiple episodes." Neither could explain the injuries. Also, in VanDalen, as in this case, the evidence showed that the "child suffered unexplained, life-threatening, nonaccidental injuries while in the sole care and custody of her parents. The child sustained brain and eye hemorrhages, eyelid bruising, and multiple rib fractures that were in various stages of healing, indicating that the harm was sustained over time and in multiple episodes." While it was unclear which respondent caused the injuries, it was clear that "both failed to safeguard her from abuse, and there was a substantial risk of future harm." Finally, the father argued that reasonable efforts to reunify the child with him were not made. The trial court found clear and convincing evidence to terminate respondents' parental rights under (k)(iii), which provides that the "parent abused the child or a sibling of the child and the abuse included '[b]attering, torture, or other severe physical abuse.'" Also, DHHS "'is not required to provide reunification services when termination of parental rights is the agency's goal.'" Termination was the DHHS's goal here. Thus, reunification efforts were not required. Affirmed. 

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