filed in the Norfolk County Division of the Juvenile Court
Department on May 19, 2010, and September 9, 2011.
review by this court, 87 Mass.App.Ct. 540 (2015), the cases
were heard by Dana Gershengorn, J.
A. B. Pearson for the mother.
Sherrie Krasner for the father.
B. Kipf Horstmann for Department of Children and Families.
B. Rosenthal for Zak.
L. Kruger for Carol & another.
case we consider whether a mother and father, whose parental
rights have been terminated, have standing to participate in
a hearing on posttermination visitation under the following
circumstances. Termination of parental rights and
posttermination visitation were originally litigated in a
single trial. The termination of parental rights was affirmed
on appeal, but the matter was remanded to the Juvenile Court
on the question of posttermination visitation. The parents
were not notified of the remand hearing and did not
participate. Following the entry of an "amended order
for posttermination/adoption visitation"
(posttermination visitation order), the parents appealed
again to this court. We now conclude that the remand hearing
was a continuation of the original proceeding, and that the
parents had standing to participate in the remand hearing.
Accordingly, we vacate the posttermination visitation order
and remand for further proceedings.
Adoption of Zak, 87 Mass.App.Ct. 540 (2015) (Zak I),
we affirmed the entry of decrees by a judge of the Juvenile
Court terminating parental rights and dispensing with consent
to adoption, but remanded on the question of posttermination
visitation. Although the judge had considered the effect of
domestic violence on the question of termination of parental
rights, her order on the visitation issue was silent as to
the impact of domestic violence on the question of
posttermination visitation. We remanded the case for further
findings and rulings in order to permit the judge to consider
that issue. We also noted the authority of the judge to
consider whether circumstances had changed since the issuance
of the original decrees. I_d. at 547 n.10, citing
Adoption of Vito, 431 Mass. 550, 557 n.15 (2000),
and Adoption of Gwendolyn, 29 Mass.App.Ct. 130, 139
Department of Children and Family Services (department) and
the children were notified of the remand hearing. The parents
were not notified. The judge exercised her discretion to
consider both the previously admitted evidence, and to hear
new evidence about the children's current circumstances
in a combined remand and modification proceeding. Relying on
all of the evidence -- the evidence admitted at the previous
trial and the additional evidence adduced at the hearing --
the judge found that the children had been profoundly
affected by domestic violence. She ruled that there had been
a material change in circumstances since the entry of the
decrees. Among other things, the children had been placed
together in a preadoptive home, and had made "remarkable
judge concluded that posttermination visitation was not in
the best interests of the youngest child, who had no memory
of his biological parents, and that for reasons unique to the
two older children, "one visit per year with their
biological mother would be in [their] best interests."
No posttermination visits with the father were ordered.
mother and father appeal, contending that they were entitled
to notice of the remand hearing because that hearing was part
of the same adjudication as the termination proceeding, and
their right to participate had not been extinguished. See
Adoption of Douglas, 473 Mass. 1024, 1029 (2016) .
The children and the department assert that because parental
rights were terminated, the parents had ...