Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo
Appeal from the 316th District Court Hutchinson County, Texas
Trial Court No. 42, 045; Honorable James Mosley, Presiding
QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PIRTLE, JJ.
PATRICK A. PIRTLE JUSTICE
J.D.B., appeals the trial court's order terminating her
parental rights to her daughter, J.K.H. By her first
issue, Appellant concedes there was sufficient evidence to
support three of the four statutory grounds for termination.
However, by her second issue, she challenges the sufficiency
of the evidence to support the trial court's best
interest finding. We affirm.
has two children who are not quite yet teenagers. This appeal
involves her daughter, who is eleven years old. Her son,
R.N.P., the subject of a companion appeal, is twelve years
saga begins in 2002, when she was convicted of possession of
methamphetamines and placed on community
supervision. That same year, she met her son's
father and she eventually became pregnant. He was verbally
and physically abusive toward Appellant. While she was
pregnant, he was murdered and she moved in with her maternal
grandmother. She later gave birth to R.N.P. in 2004.
early 2005, Appellant was involved in a brief relationship
that resulted in a second pregnancy. When she was seven
months pregnant, her community supervision was revoked and
she was incarcerated for approximately thirty days. During
that time, R.N.P. was cared for by his great-grandmother.
Later in 2005, she gave birth to J.K.H., the child the
subject of this proceeding. At that time, the infant and
Appellant both tested positive for methamphetamines. The
Department placed J.K.H. with Appellant's grandmother,
who was still caring for R.N.P.
2006, Appellant was again arrested for possession of
methamphetamines and served twelve months in a state jail
facility. She was released in 2007, and again arrested in
2008 for possession of methamphetamines. That case was not
resolved until 2013 when Appellant received a six-month
sentence. She was also incarcerated on a forgery charge.
While she was incarcerated, her children were both placed at
Boy's Ranch for six months.
her release from incarceration, in February 2014, she and her
children moved to Kansas; however, she returned to Texas
later that year and rented a house from her son's
paternal grandfather. She remained employed for a few years
mostly as a waitress. She began dating Daniel Loftis, and in
January 2015, he moved in with her and the children.
20, 2015, an incident of domestic violence by Loftis against
Appellant resulted in a report of neglectful supervision.
While both were intoxicated, Loftis allegedly head-butted
Appellant and bit her in the children's presence.
Appellant called the police. There was some evidence that
Loftis got physical with Appellant's son, although
Appellant testified she never saw Loftis hit her son.
Department, Appellant, and Loftis entered into a safety plan
and agreed that Loftis would vacate Appellant's home for
thirty days. Before the expiration of that period, the
Department's investigator visited Appellant's home
and believed that Loftis had spent the night there, a
violation of the safety plan. That violation resulted in
removal of the children from the home. J.K.H. was placed with
her father and R.N.P. was placed in foster care. Appellant
moved in with her grandmother because Loftis refused to leave
her home. She later reunited with Loftis, but after at least
two more incidents of domestic violence, she called the
police and he was incarcerated.
adversary hearing was held in September 2015, and the
Department and J.K.H.'s father were named temporary joint
managing conservators. Two months later, the Department moved
to modify conservatorship on the ground that J.K.H.'s
father had tested positive for amphetamines and
methamphetamines. The trial court granted the
Department's motion in January 2016. As a result,
J.K.H.'s father was removed as a joint managing
conservator and J.K.H. was placed in foster care with her
a permanency review hearing held on June 7, 2016, the trial
court entered an order finding that Appellant had
"demonstrated adequate and appropriate compliance with
the service plan" and extended the dismissal date of the
underlying case to permit Appellant to re-take her OSAR
evaluation. However, following a subsequent permanency review
hearing held on September 29, 2016, the trial court found
that Appellant had not "demonstrated adequate
and appropriate compliance with the service plan." The
Department moved forward with its case to terminate
Appellant's parental rights.
final hearing, Appellant admitted her substance abuse
history, criminal history, and her past abusive
relationships. The evidence established that she had
completed all her services except for her in-patient
substance abuse treatment. She blamed her failure to complete
her treatment on her grandmother's illness. Although she
previously expressed an intent to return for treatment, she
testified that she was currently living with a new boyfriend
who was providing a stable home and who had no criminal or
substance abuse history. She testified that he, her preacher,
and her NA and ...