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 B.V.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

July 17, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF B.V., a Child

          From the 408th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2016-PA-00239 Honorable Karen H. Pozza, Judge Presiding

          Sitting: Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice Irene Rios, Justice Liza A. Rodriguez, Justice.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice.

         William H. appeals the trial court's decree terminating his parental rights to B.V. William contends the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court's findings on the predicate statutory grounds for termination and asserts his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm the trial court's decree.

         Background

         William was arrested on July 14, 2015 for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines and was incarcerated when B.V. was born on January 5, 2016. Prior to B.V.'s birth, B.V.'s mother, Amanda, contacted a private adoption agency, Adoption Angels, Inc., which subsequently filed a petition to terminate Amanda's and William's parental rights. Amanda executed an irrevocable affidavit to relinquish her parental rights, and a bench trial was held on October 27, 2016. At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court terminated Amanda's and William's parental rights. William appealed, and this court held the evidence was insufficient to support the trial court's findings on the predicate statutory grounds for termination. See In re Baby V., No. 04-16-00754-CV, 2017 WL 1161176, at *4 (Tex. App.-San Antonio Mar. 29, 2017, no pet.). Accordingly, we reversed the portion of the trial court's order terminating William's parental rights and remanded the cause for further proceedings. See id.

         On remand, the trial court held another bench trial on October 29 and 30, 2018, and entered a decree terminating William's parental rights. With regard to the predicate statutory grounds, the trial court found William had:

(1) Engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in conduct which endangers the physical or emotional well-being of the child; and
(2) Knowingly engaged in criminal conduct that has resulted in his conviction of an offense and confinement or imprisonment and inability to care for the child for not less than two years from the date the petition was filed.

         The trial court also found termination was in B.V.'s best interest. William appeals.

         Sufficiency of the Evidence

         In his second and third issues, William contends the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court's findings on the predicate statutory grounds. As previously noted, the trial court found two predicate statutory grounds to support the termination of William's parental rights. Because we hold the evidence is legally and factually sufficient to support the trial court's order on the first ground, we do not address the second ground. In re A.V., 113 S.W.3d 355, 362 (Tex. 2003) ("Only one predicate finding under section 161.001(1) is necessary to support a judgment of termination when there is also a finding that termination is in the child's best interest.").

         We evaluate the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence to support the trial court's findings under the standards of review established by the Texas Supreme Court in In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d 256, 266-67 (Tex. 2002). Under these standards, the trial court, as the factfinder, "is the sole arbiter of the witnesses' credibility and demeanor" and of the weight to be given the evidence. In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d 336, 346 (Tex. 2009); see also In re F.M., No. 04-16-00516-CV, 2017 WL 393610, at *4 (Tex. App.-San Antonio Jan. 30, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.). In addition, a parent's past misconduct can be used to measure the parent's future conduct. In re E.D., 419 S.W.3d 615, 620 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 2013, pet. denied).

         Section 161.001(b)(1)(E) authorizes termination if the parent has engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in conduct which endangers the physical or emotional well-being of the child. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001(b)(1)(E). "'To endanger' means to expose a child to loss or injury or to jeopardize a child's emotional or physical health." Walker v. Tex. Dep't of Family & Protective Servs., 312 S.W.3d 608, 616 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, pet. denied). The parent's conduct need not be directed at the child nor must the child actually suffer injury; rather, the specific danger to the child's physical or emotional well-being may be inferred from the parent's misconduct alone. In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 345; In re E.A.G., 373 S.W.3d 129, 142 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 2012, pet. denied); Walker, 312 S.W.3d at 616. A parent's criminal conduct may support termination under Section 161.001(b)(1)(E) because it exposes the child to the possibility that the parent may be imprisoned. See Tex. Dep't of Human Servs. v. Boyd, 727 S.W.2d 531, 533-34 (Tex. 1987) ("imprisonment is certainly a factor to be considered by the trial court on the issue of endangerment"); In re A.L., No. 04-17-00620-CV, 2018 WL 987484, at *4 (Tex. App.-San Antonio Feb. 21, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.) ("evidence of criminal conduct, convictions, and imprisonment may establish a course of conduct that endangers ...


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.