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 D.B.B.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

June 5, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF D.B.B., C.L.B., and D.L.B., Children

          From the 131st Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2017PA00420 Honorable Linda A. Rodriguez, Judge Presiding

          Sitting: Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice Liza A. Rodriguez, Justice

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PATRICIA O. ALVAREZ, JUSTICE

         Appellants 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.

         Because the evidence is legally and factually sufficient to support the trial court's findings, we affirm the trial court's order.

         Background

         Mom and 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 terminated.

         Evidence Required, Standards of Review

         The evidentiary standards[1] the Department must meet and the statutory grounds[2] the trial court must find to terminate a parent's rights to a child are well known, as are the legal[3] and factual[4]sufficiency standards of review. We apply them here.

         Bases for Termination

         A. Courses of Parental Conduct

         The 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.

         B. Best Interests of the Children

         Instead, 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[5] and Holley[6] factors for best interests of the children are also well known. With the statutory and common law factors in mind, we examine the evidence.

         C. Evidence of Best Interests of the Children

         At the 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.

         The 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.

         1. Mom's Course of Conduct

         Mom has 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.

         Mom's 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.

         Mom did 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)).

         2. Dad's ...


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.