August 14, 2018

Colorado Supreme Court: State May Not Terminate Parental Rights Under Relinquishment Statute when Dependency and Neglect Proceeding Underway

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People in Interest of L.M. on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Children’s Code—Dependency and Neglect—Relinquishment—Termination of Parental Rights—C.R.S. § 19-3-602—C.R.S. § 19-5-105.

This case required the supreme court to determine whether the State may seek to terminate a parent’s parental rights under the relinquishment provision of the Colorado Children’s Code, C.R.S. § 19-5-105, when the child is already subject to a dependency and neglect proceeding under Article 3 of the Code, C.R.S. §§ 19-3-100.5 to -805.

The court concluded that when a dependency and neglect proceeding is pending, the State can terminate parental rights only through the procedures set forth in Article 3 of the Code and cannot use the more limited processes provided in Article 5.

The court affirmed the court of appeals division’s judgment.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

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