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In re D.C.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Tenth District

May 1, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF D.C., A CHILD

          From the 272nd District Court Brazos County, Texas Trial Court No. 17-000309-CV-272

          Before Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Neill

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JOHN E. NEILL JUSTICE.

         M.C., the father, and O.S., the mother, appeal from the trial court's judgment that terminated the parent-child relationship between them and their child, D.C. After hearing all the evidence, the trial court found by clear and convincing evidence that O.S. (1) knowingly placed or knowingly allowed the child to remain in conditions or surroundings that endanger the child, (2) engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in conduct that endangers the child, (3) failed to comply with the provisions of a court order that specifically established the actions necessary to obtain the return of the child, and (4) used a controlled substance in a manner that endangered the health or safety of the child. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001 (b) (1) (D) (E) (O) (P) (West Supp. 2018). The trial court found by clear and convincing evidence that M.C. failed to comply with the provisions of a court order that specifically established the actions necessary to obtain the return of the child. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001 (b) (1) (O) (West Supp. 2018). The trial court further found by clear and convincing evidence that termination was in the best interest of the children. We affirm.

         Facts

         On December 24, 2016, D.C. suffered severe burns when he was placed in scalding water while in the care of his mother's boyfriend. O.S. did not seek medical treatment for D.C. until January 3, 2017. D.C. required multiple surgeries for his injuries and testimony revealed that he was in excruciating pain when he was taken for treatment. D.C. was released from the hospital to his father's care, but was required to stay in Galveston for out-patient care at Shriner's Hospital.

         O.S. and M.C. cared for D.C. together in a hotel in Galveston while they took him for out-patient care. The Department of Family and Protective Services developed a safety plan for D.C. that prohibited O.S. from being alone with the child. O.S. and M.C. got into an argument, and M.C. left the child with O.S. M.C. advised the Department that he no longer wanted to participate in the safety plan. D.C. was eventually placed into foster care. Both M.C. and O.S. were provided with a service plan that detailed the required services and tasks the parents were to complete and participate in for D.C. to be returned to their care.

         Mother's Appeal

         In presenting this appeal, counsel for O.S. filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California asserting that he has conducted a review of the record and found no arguable issues to raise on appeal. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967).

         The brief filed meets the requirements of Anders by presenting a professional evaluation of the record and demonstrating why there are no arguable grounds to be advanced on appeal. Additionally, O.S.'s attorney advised her that he had filed the brief pursuant to Anders, that O.S. had the right to review the record and file a pro se response on her own behalf, and provided O.S. with a copy of the record. Although given the opportunity, O.S. did not file a response with this Court.

         The order of termination recites that O.S.:

knowingly placed or knowingly allowed the child to remain in conditions or surroundings which endangered the physical or emotional well-being of the child pursuant to § 161.001 (b) (1) (D), Texas Family Code;
engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in conduct which endangered the physical or emotional well-being of the child, pursuant to § 161.001 (b) (1) (E), Texas Family Code;
failed to comply with the provisions of a court order that specifically established the actions necessary for the mother to obtain the return of the child who had been in the permanent or temporary managing conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services for not less than nine months as a result of the child's removal from the parent under Chapter 262 for the abuse and neglect of the child, pursuant to § 161.001 (b) (1) (O), Texas Family Code;
used a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, in a manner that endangered the health or safety of the child, and (1) failed to complete a court-ordered substance abuse treatment program; or (2) after completion of a court-ordered substance abuse treatment program continued to abuse a ...

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