Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re A.A.M.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

April 4, 2018

In the Interest of A.A.M., a Child

          From the 57th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2016-PA-02894 Honorable Richard Garcia, Judge Presiding

          Marialyn Barnard, Justice, Rebeca C. Martinez, Justice, Irene Rios, Justice

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Irene Rios, Justice

         AFFIRMED

         This is an accelerated appeal from an order terminating Mother and Father's parental rights to the child, A.A.M.[1] Mother contends the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court's finding that termination of her parental rights is in the best interests of the child.We affirm the trial court's termination order.

         Background

         The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services ("the Department") became involved with this family on September 23, 2016, when A.A.M. tested positive for illegal substances at birth. At the time of delivery, Mother tested positive for opiates and benzodiazepine and admitted to using marijuana, cocaine, and Adderall within a week of A.A.M.'s birth. After unsuccessful attempts at placing the child with a relative of Mother and in light of Mother's apathy regarding her drug use, the Department filed a petition to terminate Mother's parental rights on December 29, 2016.

         Following a show cause hearing on January 10, 2017, the trial court signed a temporary order assigning the Department as temporary managing conservator of the child and ordering Mother to comply with the Department's family service plan. At a status hearing on February 28, 2017, the trial court found Mother had reviewed and signed her service plan. At a permanency hearing on June 28, 2017, the trial court found Mother had not demonstrated adequate and appropriate compliance with the service plan.

         During a non-jury trial on October 25, 2017, the trial court heard testimony from Department caseworker Sonia Perez. After receipt of evidence and testimony, the trial court signed an order terminating Mother's parental rights. Specifically, the trial court found Mother (1) used a controlled substance in a manner that endangered the health or safety of A.A.M. and either (a) failed to complete a court-ordered substance abuse treatment program; or (b) after completion of a court-ordered substance abuse treatment program, continued to abuse a controlled substance; (2) was the cause of A.A.M. being born addicted to alcohol or a controlled substance, other than a controlled substance legally obtained by prescription; and (3) failed to comply with the provisions of a court order that specifically established the actions necessary for her to obtain the return of A.A.M. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001(b)(1)(O), (P), (R) (West Supp. 2016). The trial court also found termination of Mother's parental rights was in A.A.M.'s best interest. See id. § 161.001(b)(2). Mother appeals the trial court's order terminating her parental rights to A.A.M.

         Standard of Review

         To terminate parental rights pursuant to section 161.001 of the Texas Family Code, the Department has the burden to prove: (1) one of the predicate grounds in subsection 161.001(b)(1); and (2) that termination is in the best interest of the child. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001; In re A.V., 113 S.W.3d 355, 362 (Tex. 2003). The applicable burden of proof is the clear and convincing standard. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.206(a) (West 2014); In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d 256, 263 (Tex. 2002). "'Clear and convincing evidence' means the measure or degree of proof that will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be established." Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 101.007.

         In reviewing the legal sufficiency of the evidence to support the termination of parental rights, the court must "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." In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d at 266. "[A] reviewing court must assume that the factfinder resolved disputed facts in favor of its finding if a reasonable factfinder could do so." Id. "A corollary to this requirement is that a court should disregard all evidence that a reasonable factfinder could have disbelieved or found to have been incredible." Id.

         In reviewing the factual sufficiency of the evidence to support the termination of parental rights, the court views all the evidence and determines whether a reasonable factfinder could form a firm belief or conviction that a given finding was true. See id.; In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17, 25 (Tex. 2002). The court "must give due consideration to evidence that the factfinder could reasonably have found to be clear and convincing." In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d at 266. "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." Id. "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." Id.

         Best ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.