Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo
Appeal from the 316th District Court Hutchinson County, Texas
Trial Court No. 41, 977; 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 son, R.N.P. 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 son, who is twelve years old. His father is
deceased. Appellant's daughter, J.K.H., who is the
subject of a companion appeal, is eleven years
saga begins in 2002, when she was convicted of possession of
methamphetamines and placed on community
supervision. That same year, she met R.N.P.'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 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months pregnant, her community supervision was revoked and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, Appellant gave birth to J.K.H. 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 R.N.P., 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. Violation of the safety plan resulted in
removal of the children from the home. R.N.P. was placed in
foster care while J.K.H. was placed with her father.
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.
than a year after R.N.P. was removed from Appellant's
care, a permanency review hearing was 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 retake 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 excused her failure to
complete her treatment with her grandmother's illness.
Although she previously expressed an intent to return for
treatment, she never did.
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 AA sponsors would provide her with a suitable
candidly testified to being incarcerated eight times for
driving without a valid license and not paying her fines. She
has not had a valid driver's license for four years and
is not eligible for one until 2018. She did testify she would
engage counsel to assist her in obtaining an occupational
driver's license. She further testified to ...