This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the matter of the Welfare of the Children of M.R.:
N.R., F.R., C.R., M.R.
Hennepin County District Court
File No. J50068869
Leonardo Castro, Chief 4th District Public Defender, Barbara S. Isaacman, Assistant Public Defender, 317 2nd Avenue South, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (for appellant M.R.)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Donna J. Wolfson, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent Hennepin County)
Eric S. Rehm, 301 Burnsville Parkway, Burnsville, MN 55337 (for Guardian ad Litem)
Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Halbrooks, Judge, and Hudson, Judge.
Appellant Melissa Rivera challenges the termination of her parental rights, arguing that the trial court (1) had insufficient evidence to support its findings, (2) applied an improper standard by requiring appellant to be a “sophisticated parent,” (3) failed to address what was in the best interests of each of the children, (4) failed to ensure that appellant received sufficient rehabilitative services, (5) improperly took judicial notice of the prior CHIPS order and exhibits, (6) improperly admitted and relied on the opinion testimony of respondent’s witnesses, (7) improperly allowed evidence that adoption was in the best interests of the children and disallowed evidence of the likelihood of the children being adopted, and (8) violated Minn. R. Juv. P. 74.02. We affirm because we conclude that the trial court did not err, the trial court’s findings are supported by substantial evidence and not clearly erroneous, and the trial court’s violation of Minn. R. Juv. P. 74.02 does not entitle appellant to relief. Because appellant failed to properly and timely object to the issues of judicial notice and admission of opinion evidence, those issues are not properly before this court on appeal.
Appellant Melissa Rivera and Ernesto Rivera have four children together, all of whom were under the age of eight at all times relevant to this proceeding. In September or October 1999, appellant and Rivera moved to Minneapolis with their children. On December 1, 1999, appellant’s youngest child was born cocaine positive at North Memorial Medical Center. Hennepin County Children and Family Services investigated and determined that maltreatment had occurred.
On December 2, 1999, appellant completed a chemical health assessment and admitted to using cocaine during her pregnancy. She was referred to and successfully completed the Park Avenue Chemical Dependency Treatment Program. But appellant relapsed into chemical use on May 4, 2000. Following her relapse, appellant completed an updated chemical assessment, and, as a result, was referred to the Eden Chemical Dependency In-Patient Treatment Program. Although appellant was admitted to Eden on June 5, 2000, she did not start the program until August 2, 2000.
On July 11, 2000, as a result of admissions by appellant and Rivera, their four children were adjudicated to be children in need of protective services (CHIPS), and custody of the children was transferred to Hennepin County. Appellant admitted that she had a chemical dependency problem that needed to be addressed before she could take care of her children. Appellant was ordered by the court to comply with her case plan that required her to submit to two urinalysis tests each week, complete a psychological/parenting evaluation, attend chemical dependency aftercare, regularly visit her children, attend domestic abuse counseling, and obtain suitable housing.
Appellant successfully completed the Eden treatment program on December 5, 2000, and entered the aftercare program. But, pursuant to statutory mandate, the petition for termination of parental rights had been filed and a pretrial was scheduled for January 3, 2001. At the pretrial, respondent noted many problems that appellant was having with her case plan, and trial was set for April 9, 2001.
At an April 9, 2001 pretrial conference, all parties acknowledged appellant’s significant progress. Her most significant accomplishment was maintaining her sobriety. She had also attended all of the supervised visits with her children. But appellant had not yet completed her anger-management class, was just beginning to address her psychological issues, and was not participating regularly in a parenting program. Because of her progress, all parties agreed to give appellant an additional six months to demonstrate her ability to parent her children. Appellant was ordered to attend Genesis II, a five-day a week, full-service, intensive program for women and to continue individual therapy with her therapist, Mary Jo Avendano.
Appellant completed treatment in the Eden program and completed her anger-management class. She also remained sober. Appellant was referred to Genesis II on April 9, 2001, but did not start the program until May 3, 2001. Once she started Genesis II, appellant had trouble with attendance—arriving late on several days and being absent for others. As a result, she was placed on an attendance contract. Based on appellant’s lack of progress on her case plan by a June 5, 2001 hearing, the trial court set this matter for trial on September 10, 2001.
Appellant missed urinalysis tests on July 9, 12, 23, 26, and August 6, 2001. She continued to arrive late to the Genesis II program, and had inconsistent contact with her therapist. Appellant was also disruptive during some of her therapy sessions. In July 2001, appellant inadvertently encountered Rivera while in the Health Services Building on her way to meet her social worker, and they got into an argument. During the argument, Rivera insulted appellant, and she struck him. While appellant’s attendance at Genesis II improved as trial approached, representatives of Genesis II estimated that it would take appellant a year to complete the program instead of the usual six months. This estimate was based on the fact that appellant had just started to address many of the psychological issues that are the root of her troubles.
Trial was held over the course of seven days on September 10-12, 19, October 11, 25, and November 21, 2001. On a supervised visit during trial, appellant slapped one of her children in the face for calling another one of her children an inappropriate name. The trial court filed its order on December 17, 2001, terminating the parental rights of appellant and Rivera. Although appellant’s parental rights were terminated, appellant continued to attend Genesis II and graduated on May 31, 2002. Based on her last progress report from Genesis II, appellant filed a motion for amended findings, which was denied. This appeal with respect to the mother’s rights follows.
D E C I S I O N
1. Sufficiency of the Evidence
Appellant argues that the trial court’s findings are not supported by the evidence. On review of a trial court’s findings in a termination-of-parental-rights case, this court is “limited to determining whether the findings address the statutory criteria, whether those findings are supported by substantial evidence, and whether they are clearly erroneous.” In re Welfare of D.D.G., 558 N.W.2d 481, 484 (Minn. 1997). Because the trial court is in a superior position to assess the credibility of witnesses, considerable deference is due to the district court’s decision. In re Welfare of L.A.F., 554 N.W.2d 393, 396 (Minn. 1996). This court closely inquires into the sufficiency of the evidence to determine whether the evidence is clear and convincing. In re Welfare of J.M., 574 N.W.2d 717, 724 (Minn. 1998); In re Welfare of S.Z., 547 N.W.2d 886, 893 (Minn. 1996). In a termination proceeding, the burden of proof is on the petitioner and it is presumed that the natural parent is a fit and suitable person to be entrusted with the care of a child. In re Welfare of Chosa, 290 N.W.2d 766, 769 (Minn. 1980).
Appellant argues that the trial court relied exclusively on the evidence presented by respondent, but ignored the evidence presented by appellant, except to the extent it could be used against her. Appellant attacks the trial court’s credibility determinations, reliance on what appellant characterizes as old and stale evidence, and overemphasis of certain incidents. Appellant argues further that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the standard for termination was met in late 2001 and that appellant’s life circumstances would not change in the foreseeable future.
Minnesota law states that
[t]he purpose of the laws relating to termination of parental right is to ensure that:
(1) when required and appropriate, reasonable efforts have been made by the social services agency to reunite the child with the child’s parents in a home that is safe and permanent; and
(2) if placement with the parents is not reasonably foreseeable, to secure for the child a safe and permanent placement, preferably with adoptive parents or a fit and willing relative through transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to that relative.
* * * *
The paramount consideration in all proceedings for the termination of parental rights is the best interests of the child.
Minn. Stat. § 260C.001 (2000). Minnesota law requires courts to conduct a hearing to determine the permanent status of a child under the age of eight no later than six months after the child is placed out of the home of the parent. Minn. Stat. § 260C.201, subd. 11a (Supp. 2001). While Minnesota law allows a court to continue foster care for a specified period of time as long as it is in the best interests of the child, it is clearly the legislature’s intent to place children in a permanent home, whether with their parents or not, at the earliest possible time. See Minn. Stat. § 260C.201, subd. 11 (Supp. 2001). Upon petition, a juvenile court may terminate all rights of a parent to a child if the court finds that any one of the nine conditions in Minn. Stat. § 260C.301, subd. 1(b)(1)-(9) (Supp. 2001), exist.
Here, the trial court found that there was clear and convincing evidence to terminate appellant’s parental rights under Minn. Stat. § 260C.301, subd. 1(b)(2). Under this section, the court may terminate the parental rights if it finds
(2) that the parent has substantially, continuously, or repeatedly refused or neglected to comply with the duties imposed upon that parent by the parent and child relationship, including but not limited to providing the child with necessary food, clothing shelter, education, and other care and control necessary for the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health and development, if the parent is physically and financially able, and either reasonable efforts by the social services agency have failed to correct conditions that formed the basis of the petition or reasonable efforts would be futile and therefore unreasonable.
Minn. Stat. § 260C.301, subd. 1(b)(2).
The children in this case, who were all under the age of eight at the time respondent filed the petition to terminate parental rights, were removed from their parents’ home in March 2000. At the CHIPS hearing held on July 11, 2000, appellant admitted that her youngest child was born cocaine positive, that she had a chemical dependency problem, that she was unable to provide her children with adequate shelter or food, and that her children were in need of protective services. Appellant was ordered to follow a case plan to deal with her chemical dependency, anger management, parenting, and psychological problems. At a hearing on April 9, 2001, the parties acknowledged appellant’s progress on her case plan and agreed to a continuance to allow appellant to continue her progress, but noted that she was not yet ready for reunification with her children. Following the hearing, appellant was ordered to enroll in Genesis II. Although she was referred to Genesis II on April 9, 2001, appellant failed to enroll until May 3, 2001. Once enrolled, she did not attend the program regularly and was placed on an attendance contract. Appellant missed several urinalysis tests in July and August 2001, and her contact with her personal therapist was inconsistent.
At the time of trial, the children had been out of their parents’ home for approximately 20 months and providing the children with a permanent home was becoming increasingly important for their best interests. Although appellant had been sober for many months, the court found that she had not yet sufficiently dealt with the other issues that interfere with her ability to parent. Katheryn Cranbrook, Psy. D., LP, conducted a psychological evaluation of appellant. Dr. Cranbrook diagnosed appellant as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and underlying personality issues stemming from her history of being abused and neglected, and recommended continued mental health treatment. The record also demonstrates that appellant has ongoing difficulties with appropriately managing her anger evidenced by acts of striking Rivera and one of her children. We conclude that the trial court addressed the appropriate statutory criteria, and the trial court’s finding that the termination of appellant’s rights is justified under Minn. Stat. § 260C.301, subd. 1(b)(2), is supported by substantial evidence, and is not clearly erroneous.
The trial court also found that termination of appellant’s parental rights was justified under Minn. Stat. § 260C.301, subd. 1(b)(5) (Supp. 2001). This paragraph states that the court may terminate a parent’s rights to a child if it finds
(5) that following the child’s placement out of the home, reasonable efforts, under the direction of the court, have failed to correct the conditions leading to the child’s placement. It is presumed that reasonable efforts under this clause have failed upon a showing that:
(i) In the case of a child under age eight at the time the petition was filed * * *, the presumption arises when the child has resided out of the parental home under court order for six months, unless the parent has maintained regular contact with the child and the parent is complying with the case plan:
(ii) the court has approved a case plan * * * .
(iii) conditions leading to the out-of-home placement have not been corrected. It is presumed that conditions leading to a child’s out-of-home placement have not been corrected upon a showing that the parent or parents have not substantially complied with the court’s orders and a reasonable case plan; and
(iv) reasonable efforts have been made by the social services agency to rehabilitate the parent and reunite the family.
Minn. Stat. § 260C.301, subd. 1(b)(5).
Hennepin County provided appellant with a variety of services designed to address each of her problems. Appellant received extensive treatment for her chemical dependency, domestic violence, anger management, parenting, and psychological problems, as well as supervised visitation with her children. Additionally, because of appellant’s Hispanic background, she received services that, to the extent reasonably possible, were culturally sensitive. The evidence supports the district court’s finding that reasonable efforts were made by the social services agency. The trial court’s conclusion that the termination of appellant’s parental rights is justified under Minn. Stat. § 260C.301, subd. 1(b)(5), is supported by substantial evidence and is not clearly erroneous.
2. Parenting Standards
Appellant argues that the trial court applied the wrong standard by requiring appellant to be a “psychologically sophisticated” parent. On review of a termination-of-parental-rights case, this court determines whether the findings address the proper statutory criteria. See D.D.G., 558 N.W.2d at 484. When considering a case involving the termination of parental rights, the paramount consideration for the trial court is the best interests of the children. Minn. Stat. § 260C.001.
Here, the trial court discussed the need for “psychologically sophisticated” parents in the context of its consideration of what would be in the best interests of the children. The expert testimony in this matter established that the children have been damaged by the chaotic nature of their upbringing. The three older children have been diagnosed with and are receiving treatment for various psychological conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and adjustment disorder. While the phrase “psychologically sophisticated” is used in the trial court’s order, the argument that the court employed an improper standard is incorrect. The trial court based its decision on appellant’s inability to parent her children, her failure to sufficiently remedy the conditions that resulted in that inability, and the best interests of the children.
3. Best Interests of the Children
Appellant argues that the trial court and respondent’s witnesses improperly lumped all of the children together when determining what was in their best interests. She also argues that the best interests of the children are not served by termination of her parental rights. More specifically, appellant argues that there was no evidence presented that the youngest child has any special needs and that appellant could safely parent the youngest child. Appellant contends that the special needs of the older three children were exaggerated by witnesses and that these children have bonded with appellant.
The paramount consideration in any termination-of-parental-rights proceeding is the best interests of the child. Minn. Stat. § 260C.001, subd. 2. The trial court must also consider whether either of the parents may be able to care for some, but not all, of the children. Welfare of A.V., 593 N.W.2d 720, 723 (Minn. App. 1999), review denied (Minn. Aug. 25, 1999).
Here, the trial court terminated appellant’s parental rights to all four of the children. The court did not specifically address whether appellant may be able to parent one or more of the four children. But the trial court concluded that appellant had not been able to substantially correct the conditions that led to the children’s out-of-home placement. The court found that appellant continued to exhibit inappropriate and violent behavior, that she was unable to care for own needs or meet her own appointments, and that she did not understand her children’s needs. While appellant’s four children may have separate and individual interests, the best interests of all four children include not being exposed to violent behavior and domestic abuse and having parents that understand their needs.
The youngest child, M.R., was almost two years old at the time of trial, and was born cocaine positive. During supervised visits, appellant’s attempts to be affectionate toward M.R. were often not reciprocated. M.R. would try to avoid contact with her mother by running away, and seemed to prefer contact with the guardian ad litem or social worker. The children’s guardian ad litem, George Williams, testified that it would be in the children’s best interests to have appellant’s parental rights terminated, and that M.R. would feel little sense of loss since she was removed from her parents’ care at an early age and considers her current foster parents to be her parents.
C.R. was three years old at the time of trial. C.R.’s therapist, Julia Davis, Ph.D., diagnosed C.R. with post-traumatic stress disorder and as being at risk for attachment problems. According to Dr. Davis, C.R.’s problems stem from her history of witnessing verbal and physical abuse of her mother by her father, her history of home disruption due to her parents’ chemical abuse, and the verbal and emotional abuse inflicted upon her by her mother. As a result, she is mistrustful and very angry. During supervised visits, C.R. has told appellant that she hates her and that appellant is not her mom. Because of C.R.’s defiant behavior, she is often the victim of rough treatment and verbal abuse by appellant. Dr. Davis testified that it would be in C.R.’s best interest to have appellant’s parental rights terminated.
F.R., the only male, was five years old at the time of trial. F.R.’s therapist, Mary Youngquist, Ph.D., diagnosed him with attachment disorder and some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Dr. Youngquist, F.R. has had trouble adjusting to placement in a foster home and was very upset by his parents’ fighting and their abuse of drugs and alcohol. Dr. Youngquist noted that F.R. tends to overreact and have temper tantrums under circumstances where other children would not. Further, because N.R., as the older sister, was forced into playing the role of caregiver of F.R., they have an abnormal sibling relationship that results in abnormal conflicts and F.R. being easily intimidated and controlled by N.R. Dr. Youngquist testified that it would be in F.R.’s best interest to have appellant’s parental rights terminated.
N.R. was seven years old at the time of trial. N.R.’s therapist, Dr. Youngquist, diagnosed N.R. with post-traumatic stress disorder. N.R. was also evaluated for fetal alcohol syndrome by the University of Minnesota. Doctors at the University of Minnesota diagnosed N.R. with Fetal Alcohol Effects/Neurobehavior Disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and recommended that N.R. maintain a consistent and stable home environment. Dr. Youngquist testified that N.R.’s problems stem from being placed in a foster home and witnessing her parents’ fighting and chemical abuse. According to Dr. Youngquist, as the oldest child, N.R. took on the role of caring for the younger children, and often cared for the other children while her parents slept during the day. The stress of this responsibility caused her to become hypervigilant, controlling, demanding, and angry. Dr. Youngquist testified that it would be in N.R.’s best interests to have appellant’s parental rights terminated.
Based on this record, we conclude that the trial court’s decision to terminate appellant’s parental rights to each of the four children is supported by substantial evidence.
4. Rehabilitative Services
Appellant contends that the trial court did not offer her reasonable services to address the conditions that led to the children’s out-of-home placement. As a corollary, appellant argues that the services provided were not culturally appropriate for her Hispanic background. Minnesota law states that
[o]nce a child alleged to be in need of protection or services is under the court’s jurisdiction, the court shall ensure that reasonable efforts including culturally appropriate services by the social services agency are made to prevent placement or to eliminate the need for removal and to reunite the child with the child’s family at the earliest possible time, consistent with the best interests, safety, and protection of the child.
Minn. Stat. § 260.012 (Supp. 2001). Generally, for services to be “reasonable,” the responsible agency must provide services that would assist in alleviating the conditions that led to the out-of-home placement. See Matter of Welfare of M.A., 408 N.W.2d 227, 235-336 (Minn. App. 1987), review denied (Minn. Sept. 18, 1987). Appellant received individual therapy from Avendano, who is sensitive to Hispanic cultural issues, and treatment from Chicanos Latinos Unidos en Servicio (CLUES) for her chemical-dependency problems. The record demonstrates that appellant was provided with a series of programs that were reasonably designed to address her chemical dependency, domestic abuse, parenting, and psychological issues.
Finally, appellant argues that she should have been allowed unsupervised visits in order to demonstrate her ability to parent her children. Appellant’s original case plan stated that, if she maintained negative urinalysis results for three consecutive weeks, she may be eligible for unsupervised visits. Appellant requested unsupervised visits at the January 3, 2001 hearing, but the request was denied in the absence of a recommendation from the children’s therapists. At the April 9, 2001 hearing, appellant again requested unsupervised visitation and was again denied because appellant was going to be receiving additional supervised visitation time. It was within the trial court’s discretion to grant or deny appellant’s requests for unsupervised visitation based on its determination of appellant’s progress through her case plan and the best interests of the children. The trial court’s refusal to grant unsupervised visits did not result in a lack of reasonable effort by the trial court or respondent to reunify appellant with her children.
5. Judicial Notice
Appellant contends that the trial court improperly took judicial notice of the previous CHIPS order and the 26 exhibits introduced at the CHIPS trial.
Generally, to preserve issues for appeal a party must make timely objections during trial and move the court for a new trial. Minn. R. Evid. 103(a)(1); Minn. R. Civ. P. 59.01; Sauter v. Wasemiller, 389 N.W.2d 200, 202 (Minn. 1986). Failure to object or move for a new trial precludes review. In re Gonzalez, 456 N.W.2d 724, 727 (Minn. App. 1990); see also Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582 (Minn. 1988) (stating that appellate courts will only consider issues presented to and considered by the trial court). It is undisputed that appellant did not object to the trial court taking judicial notice of the CHIPS order and exhibits during trial or in a posttrial motion.
Appellant argues that the fundamental-error exception allows this court to address the judicial-notice issue even though appellant did not object or raise the issue in a posttrial motion. Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.04 states that this court may review any matter that “the interest of justice may require.” Language added to rule 103.04 in 1998 suggests that the rule should be read narrowly. The added language reads:
The scope of review afforded may be affected by whether proper steps have been taken to preserve issues for review on appeal, including the existence of timely and proper post-trial motions.
Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.04. This language emphasizes the importance of bringing timely and proper posttrial motions and notifies litigants that the failure to do so may affect the scope of appellate review.
Appellant relies on In re Welfare of S.R.A., 527 N.W.2d 835, 837 (Minn. App. 1995), review denied (Minn. Mar. 29, 1995), where this court, citing to rule 103.04, allowed an exception to the general rule prohibiting review of evidentiary issues not raised in a posttrial motion. In S.R.A., because of the finality of the issues involved in a termination-of-parental-rights proceeding and in the interests of justice, we reviewed an evidentiary issue that was not raised in a posttrial motion. Id. But the Minnesota Supreme Court effectively overruled this court’s holding in S.R.A. when it held in a more recent case that “[t]he gravity of termination proceedings in general is not a sufficient reason to abandon our established rules of appellate argument.” See D.D.G., 558 N.W.2d at 485. Following D.D.G., appellant’s claim that rule 103.04 applies in this case is no longer supported.
We conclude that the finality and significance of the issues raised in this termination-of-parental-rights proceeding provide insufficient justification for this court to review the trial court’s alleged improper judicial notice of the CHIPS order and exhibits under rule 103.04. See D.D.G., 558 N.W.2d at 485. Because appellant did not object to the trial court taking judicial notice of the CHIPS order and exhibits during trial or in a posttrial motion, we decline to review the issue. See Thiele, 425 N.W.2d at 582.
6. Opinion Testimony
Appellant argues that the trial court improperly admitted and relied on the opinion testimony of Jennifer Schoenberg (social worker), April Mart (Genesis II case supervisor), George Williams (guardian ad litem), Dr. Davis, Dr. Youngquist, and Dr. Cranbrook. Appellant did not object to the opinion testimony of any of these witnesses, and only raised an objection to the opinion testimony of Schoenberg, Mart, Williams, and Dr. Davis in her posttrial motion.
Generally, to preserve issues arising during trial for appeal a party must make timely objections. Minn. R. Evid. 103(a)(1). Appellant again asserts that the exception in Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 103.04 allows this court to review the admissibility of the opinion testimony even though timely and proper objections were not made. For the reasons discussed above, we conclude that the exception in rule 103.04 does not apply in this case. Because appellant did not object to the admission of the opinion testimony at trial, we conclude that this issue is precluded from review pursuant to Minn. R. Evid. 103(a)(1).
7. Adoption Evidence
Appellant asserts that the trial court improperly allowed testimony that adoption was in the best interests of the children, but did not allow testimony regarding the likelihood that the children would be adopted. Absent erroneous interpretation of the law, the question of whether to admit or exclude evidence is within the district court’s discretion. Kroning v. State Farm Auto. Ins., 567 N.W.2d 42, 45-46 (Minn. 1997). Generally, courts are not required to make a finding regarding adoptability in a termination-of-parental-rights proceeding. In re Welfare of J.M., 574 N.W.2d 717, 724 (Minn. 1998). We conclude that the trial court was within its discretion in allowing evidence that adoption was in the children’s best interest and not allowing evidence regarding the adoptability of the children.
8. Minn. R. Juv. P. 74.02
Finally, appellant argues that the trial court violated Minn. R. Juv. P. 74.02 when trial did not commence within 90 days of the date of the admit/deny hearing and when the trial court continued the trial for more than a week without finding that such a continuance would be in the children’s best interests. Minn. R. Juv. P. 74.02, subd. 1(c), states that “[a] trial regarding a termination of parental rights matter shall commence within ninety (90) days from the date of the admit/deny hearing.” The trial may not be continued or adjourned for more than one week unless the court makes a finding that it is in the best interests of the child, and, in any event, the trial shall be commenced and completed within 90 days of the denial of the statutory grounds. Minn. R. Juv. P. 74.02, subd. 2(b).
Here, the admit/deny hearing on the petition to terminate parental rights was held on October 19, 2000. At the pretrial on January 3, 2001, the matter was set for trial on April 9, 2001, which is outside the 90-day time period required by rule 74.02, subd. 1(c). On April 9, 2001, all parties agreed to a 4-6 month continuance, and the trial court found that such a continuance was in the best interests of the children. On June 5, 2001, the trial court set this matter for trial on September 10, 2001. The trial began on September 10, 2001, but, as a result of the trial court’s scheduling conflicts, did not end until November 21, 2001.
The April 9, 2001 continuance complied with rule 74.02 because the court found that the continuance was in the children’s best interests. But the court violated rule 74.02 by not commencing the trial within 90 days from the admit/deny hearing, and by continuing the trial for more than a week in September, October, and November 2001 without a finding that such a continuance was in the best interests of the children. The issue is what relief appellant is entitled to as a result of these violations. The Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Procedure do not provide any sanction for violations of the timelines in rule 74.02. See 13 Robert Scott & John O. Sonsteng, Minnesota Practice at 366-67 (2002) (stating that no sanction is provided for violation of rule 74.02). And it should be noted that the trial court agreed to the parties’ requests for additional time in order to give appellant more time to complete her programs. Once the court determined that trial had to begin in September 2001, the court asked counsel for the county for her estimate as to number of trial days. The court was given a projection of two to three days. When that estimate proved to the incorrect, the court then attempted to complete the trial around other already scheduled matters. Appellant was not prejudiced by the timing issues. We conclude that appellant is not entitled to relief for the trial court’s violations of rule 74.02.
 Although appellant and Rivera have the same last name, they are not married.
 While recognizing that the issue is not properly reserved for review, we note in passing that, generally, records from prior adjudicative proceedings are an appropriate subject for judicial notice. See Welfare of D.J.N., 568 N.W.2d 170, 175 (Minn. App. 1997).