Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
IN THE INTEREST OF G.A.M. and G.A.M., Children
the 225th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2015PA00997 Honorable Charles E. Montemayor, Judge
Sitting: Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice Patricia O.
Alvarez, Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice
Bryan Marion, Chief Justice
appeals the trial court's order terminating his parental
rights to his children "John" and
"Jacob." The sole issue
presented on appeal is whether the evidence is legally and
factually sufficient to support the trial court's finding
that termination was in the children's best interest. We
affirm the trial court's order.
13, 2015, the Texas Department of Family and Protective
Services filed a petition to terminate M.A.J.M. and
L.T.'s parental rights to John and Jacob. On November
3-4, 2016, the trial court held a two-day bench trial on the
merits of the case.
children were removed from their parents' care in May of
2015 because the parents were unable to provide a safe,
drug-free home. Jordan Price, the Department's legal case
worker, was assigned to the case on August 22, 2016. Price
stated she had access to the prior case workers' notes
and was able to speak with the prior case workers about the
case. Price testified she had attempted to meet with M.A.J.M.
multiple times during the pendency of the case but had only
met with him once at a house he leased. Price testified
M.A.J.M.'s leased house had a staircase too steep for the
children, but it did have appropriate places for the children
to sleep. Price was notified, however, that M.A.J.M. was
given a thirty-day notice to vacate on October 10, 2016.
time of trial, John was four-years-old, and Jacob was
two-years-old. Both children were placed with their maternal
grandmother, A.L. Price testified the children were thriving
in their grandmother's care with all of their needs being
met in a loving home. On cross-examination, Price testified
both L.T. and one of A.L.'s sons were incarcerated for
drug offenses. Price was not aware if A.L.'s son had been
released from prison and was living with A.L. The
Department's plan is for A.L. to adopt the children.
after the children were removed, a family service plan was
developed for M.A.J.M., and Price testified some of the
services had been completed. M.A.J.M. completed a parenting
class, a domestic violence class, and an intense outpatient
program for alcohol abuse. M.A.J.M. was referred to Lifetime
Recovery for drug treatment, but he was unsuccessfully
discharged after "[h]e just stopped going" with
only ten days left to complete the program. On
cross-examination, Price stated she did not recall M.A.J.M.
sending her a text on September 14, 2016, asking her to again
refer him to Lifetime Recovery. After M.A.J.M. was discharged
by one therapist because he had two "no shows, " he
was also unsuccessfully discharged by a second therapist.
Price testified she had scheduled M.A.J.M. for counseling
three times since she was assigned to the case.
testified he did not know if M.A.J.M. was drug free. The
court-ordered family service plan required M.A.J.M. to
undergo random drug testing. M.A.J.M. was sent for drug tests
on September 13, 2016, September 19, 2016, and October 26,
2016; however, he did not appear for any of the tests. In
response to one of Price's messages or phone calls about
a scheduled drug test, Price testified M.A.J.M. stated,
"no thanks. That he's complied with all of CPS's
rules and he'll see me in court." During Price's
visit to M.A.J.M.'s house, an empty baggy was found
outside the house on M.A.J.M.'s patio table, which was
described as questionable.
time of the children's removal, M.A.J.M. was on probation
for evading arrest in a vehicle. Although Price attempted to
contact M.A.J.M.'s probation officer, she had not spoken
with the officer. Price was not aware if the probation
department required regular drug testing or the results of
any such tests.
testified M.A.J.M. had not provided any support for the
children or paid any of the court-ordered child support.
Price stated M.A.J.M. is employed, but M.A.J.M. had not
provided Price with pay stubs which Price testified he had
requested. M.A.J.M. had provided Price with a handwritten
letter from his employer on a piece of notebook paper. Price
attempted to contact the employer; however, no one answered.
testified M.A.J.M. attended his weekly visits with his
children, and the visits were appropriate. The children were
excited to see M.A.J.M. Price testified the Department denied
M.A.J.M.'s request to increase his visits.
was requesting the trial court to terminate M.A.J.M.'s
parental rights because of his lack of commitment or
motivation to complete services and his inability to
financially support the children. Price ...