Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
the 438th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2016PA02449 Honorable Richard Garcia, Judge
Bryan Marion, Chief Justice, Marialyn Barnard Justice, Luz
Elena D. Chapa Justice
Bryan Marion, Chief Justice
and J.V. appeal the trial court's order terminating their
parental rights to their son, E.A.Z.P. The only issue
presented on appeal is whether the evidence is legally and
factually sufficient to support the trial court's finding
that termination was in E.A.Z.P.'s best interest. We
affirm the trial court's order.
October 31, 2016, the Texas Department of Family and
Protective Services filed a petition to terminate C.P.'s
and J.V.'s parental rights to E.A.Z.P. On the date the
petition was filed, E.A.Z.P. was six months old. A bench
trial was held on November 17, 2017.
Department's caseworker testified the Department received
a referral on April 15, 2016, alleging C.P. was using
methamphetamines, and E.A.Z.P. tested positive for
methamphetamines at his birth. As a result, E.A.Z.P. suffered
withdrawals, including tremors and muscle spasms. The
caseworker testified E.A.Z.P. was initially placed with his
maternal great-grandmother but was subsequently placed with a
fictive kin family on February 1, 2017. E.A.Z.P. is very well
cared for by the family and calls his fictive kin parents
"mama" and "dada." As a result of being
exposed to drugs at birth, E.A.Z.P. is speech-delayed, and
the Department plans to provide E.A.Z.P. with speech therapy
when appropriate. The caseworker testified E.A.Z.P. "has
quite a language deficit, and he really doesn't verbalize
as much as he should for his age."
caseworker testified a family service plan was reviewed with
C.P. The plan required C.P. to complete a drug assessment and
psychological evaluation and follow the recommendations,
complete individual counseling and a parenting class, adhere
to random drug testing, obtain stable housing and employment,
and refrain from criminal activity. On February 27, 2017,
C.P. completed a substance abuse assessment on her fourth
attempt. C.P. did not follow the assessment recommendations
and was discharged from individual counseling and a parenting
class due to nonattendance. In August of 2017, C.P. tested
positive for methamphetamines; however, subsequent test
results have been negative. C.P. told the caseworker she has
not maintained stable housing but "kind of go[es] from
place to place." She also was never employed while the
case was pending. The caseworker testified C.P.'s pattern
of instability, inconsistency, and lack of sobriety pose a
threat to E.A.Z.P.'s well-being. C.P. missed only three
or four of her visits with E.A.Z.P.; however she was usually
twenty to thirty minutes late to the visits. Finally, C.P.
was arrested in December of 2016 for robbery and in May of
2017 for theft of property, and the charges are still
caseworker testified J.V. has been incarcerated the entire
time the case has been pending and is not due to be released
until 2020. As a result, J.V. has never visited with E.A.Z.P.
never contacted the caseworker to inquire about
E.A.Z.P.'s welfare, and E.A.Z.P. does not have any bond
testified via telephone that he was serving time in prison
for a conviction of felon in possession of a firearm. J.V.
stated his scheduled release date is November 18, 2020, but
he is eligible for parole before that date.
testified she was discharged from services because she does
not own a vehicle and has transportation issues. C.P. further
testified she is currently living with her grandmother, and
her mother and brother financially support her. C.P. stated
she attended AA/NA meetings twice a week from February of
2017 through September of 2017 but stopped because she was
arrested. C.P. also testified she recently started a drug
recovery program. C.P. did not believe E.A.Z.P. was
hearing the testimony, the trial court terminated C.P.'s
and J.V.'s parental rights, and they both appeal.
of Review and ...