Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
IN THE INTEREST OF D.B.B., C.L.B., and D.L.B., Children
the 131st Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2017PA00420 Honorable Linda A. Rodriguez, Judge
Sitting: Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa,
Justice Liza A. Rodriguez, Justice
PATRICIA O. ALVAREZ, JUSTICE
A.R. (Mom) and D.B. (Dad) appeal the trial court's order
terminating their parental rights to their children D.B.B.,
C.L.B., and D.L.B.i Each
parent asserts the trial court could not have found by clear
and convincing evidence that terminating their respective
parental rights is in the children's best interests.
the evidence is legally and factually sufficient to support
the trial court's findings, we affirm the trial
Dad are the parents of D.B.B., C.L.B., and D.L.B. In February
2017, the Department received a referral alleging negligent
supervision of the children. The Department i To
protect the minors' identities, we refer to the parents
and the children using aliases. See Tex. R. App. P.
9.8. found Mom and the children staying at a motel. Law
enforcement arrested Mom on three open warrants for
prostitution, and the Department obtained temporary
conservatorship of the children. After several status
hearings, a granted motion for mistrial, and an extension of
the automatic dismissal date, the Department moved to
terminate the parents' rights. At the one-day bench
trial, the parents' rights to their children were
Required, Standards of Review
evidentiary standards the Department must meet and the statutory
grounds the trial court must find to terminate a
parent's rights to a child are well known, as are the
legal and factualsufficiency standards of review.
We apply them here.
Courses of Parental Conduct
trial court found by clear and convincing evidence that
Mom's conduct and Dad's conduct each met the grounds
stated in paragraphs (D), (E), (O), and (P). See
Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001(b)(1). Neither Mom nor Dad
appeals the trial court's statutory grounds findings.
Best Interests of the Children
Mom and Dad challenge the sufficiency of the evidence
supporting the trial court's findings that terminating
their respective parental rights is in the children's
best interests. See id. § 161.001(b)(2). The
Family Code and Holley factors for best
interests of the children are also well known. With the
statutory and common law factors in mind, we examine the
Evidence of Best Interests of the Children
January 17, 2019 bench trial, the trial court heard testimony
from Mom, Mom's mother, Mom's substance abuse
counselor, Dad, Dad's mother, the two youngest
children's foster mother, and the Department case worker;
it also received recommendations from the children's
attorney ad litem.
trial court was the "sole judge of the credibility of
the witnesses and the weight to give their testimony."
See City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 819
(Tex. 2005); In re H.R.M., 209 S.W.3d 105, 108 (Tex.
2006). Some of the relevant testimony is summarized below.
Mom's Course of Conduct
depression and issues with anger management and drug abuse.
Dad testified that Mom tried to run him over with a car, she
threw things at him, and she had tried to stab, bite, kick,
scratch, and punch him. Mom admitted using marijuana for
years to cope with her emotional pain. The children, who are
too young to attend school, lived with Mom, and she did not
have stable housing. When the Department located Mom, she was
arrested for three outstanding warrants for prostitution.
During the pendency of this case, Mom was arrested twice:
once for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver
and once on a new prostitution charge.
service plan included individual therapy, domestic violence
and parenting classes, and drug testing and treatment. She
began, but did not complete, her domestic violence class. She
engaged in individual counseling for four months, but she
stopped engaging and was discharged for failure to attend the
counseling. She skipped most of her drug tests; some tests
were positive for marijuana and methamphetamine. She missed
fifteen visits with her children, and she did not provide
money or necessities for them.
not complete her service plan, and she has not successfully
addressed her issues. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §
263.307(b)(1), (8), (10), (11), (12); Holley, 544
S.W.2d at 371-72 (factors (C), (D), (H)).