March 29, 2022

In re Aligha R.-S. et al. (March 2022; AC 44835)

On appeal, Mother claimed that the trial court improperly found that (1) DCF made reasonable efforts to reunify the family; (2) she failed to achieve a sufficient degree of personal rehabilitation pursuant to C.G.S. § 17a-112(j)(3)(B)(i); and (3) termination of her parental rights was in the best interests of the children. Additionally, she claimed that she was given ineffective counsel.

The Appeals Court affirmed the lower court’s judgment, stating that the standard for addressing the court’s ruling on “reasonable efforts” cannot be repealed unless, given the entire record, it was clearly erroneous. The Court here found that it was not clearly erroneous. In determining whether counsel was ineffective, the standard “requires not errorless counsel, and not counsel judged ineffective by hindsight, but counsel whose performance is reasonably competent.” The court found the competency claim unsupported by the record.