In re Johnson R.

Connecticut Supreme Court

April 5, 2011

DUE PROCESS/INCOMPETENT CLIENT

Respondent father had been found incompetent during the initial phases of the child protection case and a guardian ad litem had been appointed. Ultimately, the Department of Children and Families sought, and the trial court issued, a decision to terminate the father’s parental rights. The Supreme Court granted certification to review respondent father’s claim that the trial court (1) improperly found that termination of parental rights was in the best interests of the children; and (2) violated his procedural due process rights when it failed to require the department of children and families to include his guardian ad litem in the reunification process. The Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court’s decision on the first certified issue, but agreed with the appellate court that the record was inadequate to review the second certified question. The respondent did not raise that claim with the trial court and sought review under Golding. However, the respondent did not present any materials to the appellate court from the respondent’s competency evaluation, thus depriving the appellate court of information necessary to review the father’s claim.

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