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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Kailyn S. v. State, Dept. of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services (6/1/2018) sp-7248

Kailyn S. v. State, Dept. of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services (6/1/2018) sp-7248

           Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the P                      ACIFIC  REPORTER.  

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                       THE  SUPREME  COURT  OF  THE  STATE  OF  ALASKA  



KAILYN  S.,                                                            )  

                                                                       )     Supreme  Court  No.  S-16833  

                                 Appellant,                            )  

                                                                                                                    

                                                                       )     Superior  Court  Nos.   3HO-15-00011/  

                                                                                         

           v.                                                          )     00012 CN  

                                                                       )  

                                        

STATE OF ALASKA, DEPARTMENT                                            )                          

                                                                             O P I N I O N  

                                             

OF HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES,                                           )  

                                                                                                              

OFFICE OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES,  )                                            No. 7248 - June 1, 2018  

                                                                       )
  

                                 Appellee.                             )
  

                                                                       )
  



                                                                                                                 

                      Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third  

                                                                                                     

                      Judicial District, Homer, Anna Moran, Judge.  



                                                                                                          

                      Appearances:  Callie Patton Kim, Assistant Public Defender,  

                                                                                                                   

                      and  Quinlan   Steiner,  Public  Defender,  Anchorage,   for  

                                                                                          

                      Appellant.           David  T.  Jones,  Assistant  Attorney  General,  

                                                                                                              

                      Anchorage, and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General, Juneau,  

                                               

                      for Appellee.  



                                                                                                             

                      Before:  Stowers, Chief Justice, Winfree, Maassen, Bolger,  

                                            

                      and Carney, Justices.  



                                                      

                      STOWERS, Chief Justice.  



                                                                                                                                       

                      Five days before the termination of parental rights trial in this Child in Need  

                                                                      1  filed a motion requesting a continuance.  In  

of Aid (CINA) case, the mother, Kailyn S.,                                                                                                   



           1          We use a pseudonym to protect the family's privacy.                        


----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

her motion, Kailyn claimed that a continuance was needed because she had been offered                                                                                                                                



a job           on   a fishing                       vessel that was due to                                           leave   as   soon   as possible and                                                   because a   



continuance would give her additional time to meet with her attorney.                                                                                                                      The motion was                    



not accompanied by a supporting affidavit or other supporting evidence.                                                                                                                             The superior   



court denied the motion.                                             The trial proceeded as scheduled, and the court terminated                                                                            



Kailyn's parental rights to two of her children.                                                                                 Kailyn appeals the termination of her                                                         



parental rights based solely on the argument that the superior court abused its discretion                                                                                                                    



in denying her request for a continuance.                                 



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     2  

                                    The superior court has broad discretion to grant or deny a continuance.                                                                                                                               



We review the denial of a continuance only for abuse of discretion, considering the  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               



particular circumstances to determine whether a party was "deprived of a substantial  

                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                        3    While Kailyn alleges that denying  

right or seriously prejudiced" by the court's ruling.                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                      



the continuance "interfered with her attorney's ability to provide effective assistance,"  

                                                                                                                                                                                                         



she has not articulated more than speculative arguments about how she might have been  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



better assisted if the continuance had been granted.  And as explained, the motion was  

                                                                                                                                                                                               



not accompanied by supporting evidence or supported by an affidavit; it also did not  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               



propose a new trial date or indicate how long the continuance would need to be to  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

accommodate Kailyn's employment.4  

                                                                



                  2                 State v. George                         , 511 P.2d 1293, 1295 n.6 (1973) (citing                                                                 Spight v. State                       , 450   



P.2d 157, 159 (Alaska 1969)).                                 



                  3                 Clementine F. v. State, Dep't of Health & Soc. Servs., Office of Children's  

                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Servs., 375 P.3d 39, 43 (Alaska 2016) (quoting Hannah B. v. State, Dep't of Health &  

                                                                                                                                                                      

Soc. Servs., Office of Children's Servs., 289 P.3d 924, 930 (Alaska 2012)).  

                                                                                                                                                                                     



                  4                 After the termination trial, the superior court found that Kailyn would need  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

at least a year of therapy before she could begin to make progress on her condition.  In  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

light of that finding, which Kailyn has not challenged on appeal, any continuance the  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                    (continued...)  



                                                                                                                -2-                                                                                                        7248
  


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                                                                                                                                               5  

                         We have emphasized that "CINA cases are very time-sensitive,"                                                           and that   



                                                                                                                                                      6  

"a child's need for permanence and stability should not be put on hold indefinitely."                                                                    We  



                                                                                                                                                                  

have explained that "[t]he Alaska Statutes and our precedent establish a clear policy:  



                                                                                                                                                   

The best interests of children, including the interest in permanency as opposed to leaving  

                                                               7   It was therefore reasonable for the superior court to  

                                                                                                                                                             

children in limbo, are paramount." 



prioritize the children's permanency, and it was not an abuse of discretion to deny the  

                                                                                                                                                           



motion for a continuance.  

                         



                         We AFFIRM the superior court's termination order.  

                                                                                                               



            4            (...continued)  



                                                                                                                                             

court might have granted would have been too short for Kailyn to make any significant  

                                                                                                                                            

progress or would have placed the children's permanency in limbo for a substantial  

                   

period of time.  



            5           Hannah B., 289 P.3d at 932 (quoting Ben M. v. State, Dep't of Health &  

                                                                                                                                                             

Soc. Servs., Office of Children's Servs., 204 P.3d 1013, 1019 (Alaska 2009)).  

                                                                                                                                  



            6           Id. at 933 (quoting Kent V. v. State, Dep't of Health & Soc. Servs., Office  

                                                                                                                                                     

of Children's Servs., 233 P.3d 597, 603 (Alaska 2010)).  

                                                                                           



            7           Rowan B. v. State, Dep't of Health & Soc. Servs., Office of Children's  

                                                                                                                                      

Servs., 361 P.3d 910, 914 (Alaska 2015) (citing AS 47.10.005; AS 47.10.088(j); A.A. v.  

                                                                                                                                                             

State, Dep't of Family & Youth Servs., 982 P.2d 256, 260 (Alaska 1999)).  

                                                                                                                            



                                                                             -3-                                                                       7248
  

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