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In re W.R.C.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Tenth District

December 20, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF W.R.C., H.J.C., AND A.J.C., CHILDREN

          Before Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Scoggins.

         From the 85th District Court Brazos County, Texas, Trial Court No. 16-000454-cV-85

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          AL SCOGGINS JUSTICE.

         Eric C. appeals from a judgment that terminated the parent-child relationship between him and his children, W.R.C., H.J.C., and A.J.C. After hearing all the evidence, the trial court found by clear and convincing evidence that Eric engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the children with persons who engaged in conduct that endangers the children. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001 (b) (1) (E) (West Supp. 2017). The trial court further found by clear and convincing evidence that termination was in the best interest of the children. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001 (b) (2) (West Supp. 2017). We affirm.

         Facts

         Eric and Amanda were married on June 19, 2004, and they are the parents of the three children. They divorced on September 5, 2013 by decree of the Circuit Court of Russell County, Alabama. Amanda married Adam in November 2013, and they moved to Texas with the three children in December 2013. Amanda filed a Petition for Termination and Adoption of Stepchildren on February 22, 2016.

         Standard of Review

         In the first two issues, Eric argues the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court's findings on termination. Only one predicate act under section 161.001 (b) (1) is necessary to support a judgment of termination in addition to the required finding that termination is in the child's best interest. In re A.V., 113 S.W.3d 355, 362 (Tex.2003). In conducting a legal sufficiency review in a parental termination case:

[A] court should look at all the evidence in the light most favorable to the finding to determine whether a reasonable trier of fact could have formed a firm belief or conviction that its finding was true. To give appropriate deference to the factfinder's conclusion and the role of a court conducting a legal sufficiency review, looking at the evidence in the light most favorable to the judgment means that a reviewing court must assume that the factfinder resolved disputed facts in favor of its finding if a reasonable factfinder could do so. A corollary to this requirement is that a court should disregard all evidence that a reasonable factfinder could have disbelieved or found to be incredible. This does not mean that a court must disregard all evidence that does not support the finding. Disregarding undisputed facts that do not support the finding could skew the analysis of whether there is clear and convincing evidence.

In re J.P.B., 180 S.W.3d 570, 573 (Tex.2005) (per curiam) (quoting In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d 256, 266 (Tex.2002)) (emphasis in J.P.B.).

         In a factual sufficiency review,

[A] court of appeals must give due consideration to evidence that the factfinder could reasonably have found to be clear and convincing.... [T]he inquiry must be "whether the evidence is such that a factfinder could reasonably form a firm belief or conviction about the truth of the State's allegations." A court of appeals should consider whether disputed evidence is such that a reasonable factfinder could not have resolved that disputed evidence in favor of its finding. If, in light of the entire record, the disputed evidence that a reasonable factfinder could not have credited in favor of the finding is so significant that a factfinder could not reasonably have formed a firm belief or conviction, then the evidence is factually insufficient.

In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d 256, 266-67 (Tex.2002) (quoting In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17, 25 (Tex.2002)) (internal footnotes omitted) (alterations added).

         En ...


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