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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Owen M. v. State, Office of Children's Services (09/09/2005) sp-5942

Owen M. v. State, Office of Children's Services (09/09/2005) sp-5942

     Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction  before
     publication  in  the  Pacific  Reporter.   Readers  are
     requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk
     of  the  Appellate  Courts, 303  K  Street,  Anchorage,
     Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878,


OWEN M., )
) Supreme Court No. S- 11798
) Superior Court No.
v. ) 3AN-02-619 CP
Appellee. ) [No. 5942 - September 9, 2005]

          Appeal  from the Superior Court of the  State
          of    Alaska,   Third   Judicial    District,
          Anchorage, John Suddock, Judge.

          Appearances:  Robert L. Breckberg,  Assistant
          Public  Advocate,  Chad  W.  Holt,  Assistant
          Public Advocate Section Supervising Attorney,
          Anchorage,   for   Appellant.    Michael   G.
          Hotchkin,    Assistant   Attorney    General,
          Anchorage,   David   W.   Marquez,   Attorney
          General, Juneau, for Appellee.

          Before:   Bryner,  Chief  Justice,  Matthews,
          Eastaugh, Fabe, and Carpeneti, Justices.

          PER CURIAM

Owen   M.   appeals  from  an  order  terminating  his   parental
rights  to his daughter Molly.1  Owen contends that the  superior
court  erred  by  approving an adoption plan  for  Molly  without
taking  testimony.   Because we conclude  that  Owen  waived  his
argument  that an evidentiary hearing was required  and  did  not
timely  appeal  the  denial  of placement  with  Mollys  paternal
grandparents, we affirm.
          The  superior court terminated the parental  rights  of
Owen  and N.L. to their two-year-old daughter Molly as of October
8, 2004.2  In the termination proceedings the parents argued that
Molly  should have been placed with her paternal grandparents  in
          Molly,  who was born in September 2002, was  placed  in
her  current foster home in January 2003, fifteen days after  she
was taken into custody by the Office of Childrens Services (OCS).
That  same month the parents asked OCS to seek placement of Molly
with  her  paternal grandparents in Texas, and  OCS  pursued  the
necessary home study.
          In early June 2003, before the home study was complete,
the  grandparents withdrew from the home study, apparently at the
urging  of  Owen.   In August 2003 the grandparents  appeared  to
renew  the  request that Molly be placed with  them.   The  court
denied the request, refusing to renew the home study process  for
them.  Neither Owen nor the grandparents appealed.
          More   than   a   year  later  during  the  termination
proceedings on October 8, 2004, Owen again requested  that  Molly
be  placed with her grandparents.  The court rejected his request
and entered a permanency plan for Molly of adoption by her foster
parents.  Owen appeals.
          Owen  argues that the superior court improperly entered
findings  on  permanency  .  .  .  without  any  testimony,  thus
excluding  all  potential  relative  placements,  including   the
paternal grandparents.  We review Owens argument for plain  error
because  he  did  not ask the superior court for  an  evidentiary
hearing  on  Mollys  placement.3  Plain  error  exists  where  an
obvious  mistake  has been made which creates a  high  likelihood
that injustice has resulted. 4
          Owen  cannot show plain error.  The superior court  did
not make an obvious mistake in not holding an evidentiary hearing
because neither the statute nor the CINA rule explicitly requires
one.5   Moreover,  the  likelihood of an unjust  result  is  slim
because  the superior court could have properly reached the  same
result   approving  Mollys  adoptive placement  with  her  foster
parents  even if it had held an evidentiary hearing.
          Lastly,   we   observe  that  Owens  request   for   an
evidentiary hearing is directed at getting Molly placed with  her
paternal  grandparents.  However, the superior court  denied  the
familys  requests  to pursue placement with the  grandparents  in
August  2003.   Owen or the grandparents needed to timely  appeal
that placement denial.6  Because they did not do so, we will  not
consider Owens current challenge to the placement decision as  it
is untimely.7
          We  AFFIRM the termination of Owens parental rights and
the permanency plan for Molly.
     1     Pseudonyms or initials have been used for  all  family
members to protect their identities.

     2    N.L. does not appeal.

     3     See,  e.g., D.J. v. P.C., 36 P.3d 663, 667-68  (Alaska
2001)  (Issues  not  raised  in the  trial  court  shall  not  be
considered on appeal, except for plain error.).

     4     Id.  at  668 (quoting Sosa v. State, 4 P.3d  951,  953
(Alaska 2000)).

     5    See AS 47.10.080(l); CINA Rule 17.2.

     6    See S.S.M. v. State, Dept of Health & Soc. Servs., Div.
of  Family & Youth Servs., 3 P.3d 342, 345 (Alaska 2000) (holding
order  denying placement of child in need of aid with his  sister
was final, appealable order).

     7    See Alaska R. App. P. 204(a)(1).