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In re D.M.

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

March 13, 2014

IN RE D.M.; T.M., APPELLANT

Argued January 30, 2014

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Family Court. (188-TPR-07). (Hon. Lloyd U. Nolan, Jr., Magistrate Judge). (Hon. Jennifer DiToro, Reviewing Judge).

Madhavan K. Nair for appellant T.M.

Jon S. Pascale for appellant T.P. filed a statement in lieu of brief in support of appellant T.M.

Charmetra L. Parker, Assistant Attorney General, with whom Irvin B. Nathan, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General, and Donna M. Murasky, Deputy Solicitor General, were on the brief, for appellee District of Columbia.

R. Michael Labelle, guardian ad litem, for appellee D.M.

Before GLICKMAN and EASTERLY, Associate Judges, and FERREN, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 585

Glickman, Associate Judge.

T.M., the biological mother of D.M., appeals the termination of her parental rights. She contends that the magistrate judge erred by failing to give weighty consideration to the third-party custodial arrangement she proposed as an alternative to the termination of her parental rights, and that there was insufficient evidence that termination was in D.M.'s best interest. Although we are not persuaded by the latter claim, we agree that the magistrate judge did not discuss T.M.'s proposed custody arrangement in enough detail to demonstrate that it received the weighty consideration our cases require. Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Superior Court and remand this case for further evaluation of T.M.'s alternative custody proposal, and for such other proceedings as may be appropriate in the light of changed circumstances.

I.

D.M was born on January 14, 2000, to T.M., his biological mother, and T.P., his biological father. On June 19, 2007, D.M. was committed to the care of the Child and Family Services Agency (" CFSA" ) following T.M.'s stipulation that she was unable to care for him herself due to her incarceration and that she had not designated another person to care for him in her absence.

The original goal of D.M.'s commitment was for him to be reunited with his biological mother. Eventually, however, on account of T.M.'s persistent drug ...


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