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Name: In re Z.S.
Case #: B252184
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/01/2015

Father’s appeal from order terminating parental rights was dismissed as untimely where it was not filed until after the adoption order was finalized. Father was incarcerated during most of the protracted dependency proceedings. DCFS utilized a physical address and mailing address provided by father to send him notices. On March 12, 2013, the court terminated father’s parental rights. On September 19, 2013, the court finalized the adoptions. Father filed a notice of appeal on October 16, 2013, contesting the termination of his parental rights. The appellate court dismissed the appeal as untimely. An order by a referee must be appealed within 60 days after the order becomes final. The order becomes final 10 calendar days after service of a copy of the order has been mailed to the parents’ last known address. On March 13, 2013, the clerk served father at his last known address, where he had received prior notices. Therefore, father had until May 22 to file a notice of appeal, which he did not. Further, father could not collaterally attack the March 12 order by noticing an appeal from the order finalizing the adoptions. The court also held that maternal grandmother did not have standing to join in father’s appeal, and father did not have standing to appeal the order finalizing the adoption.