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In re A.C.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

July 31, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF A.C., A.C. III, and S.P.A.C., Children

          From the 408th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2018PA00580 Honorable Charles E. Montemayor, Judge Presiding

          Sitting: Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice Liza A. Rodriguez, Justice

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PATRICIA O. ALVAREZ, JUSTICE

         Mom appeals the trial court's order terminating her parental rights to her children A.C., A.C. III, and S.P.A.C.[1] For the reasons given below, we affirm the trial court's order.

         In September 2017, the case was referred to the Department for Family Based Services after one of the children was found unconscious in the bathtub and Mom's statement was not consistent with the medical evidence.[2] In March 2018, after Mom and Dad failed to pick up the children from daycare, the children were placed at the Children's Shelter. The Department sought temporary conservatorship of the children, which the trial court granted.

         At the trial on the merits on April 1, 2019, the trial court heard evidence that the Department reviewed Mom's service plan with Mom, Mom understood the plan, and Mom signed the plan. Mom was ordered to complete a psychological evaluation, individual counseling, a protective parenting course, a domestic violence course, a drug and alcohol assessment, random drug and alcohol testing, and drug and alcohol treatment. Mom did not complete her psychological evaluation or any of her other ordered services. Mom was authorized seventy visits with her children but attended only ten. She initially submitted to drug testing but then stopped. Mom was also ordered to show proof of safe, stable housing and stable employment, but she did not.

         The Department case worker testified that the youngest child was deaf in one ear and had partial deafness in the other because Mom failed to take the child to doctor's appointments. Mom replied that the deafness was not due to any missed appointments.

         When they came into care, all three children were globally delayed, but since they were placed with a foster family, two of the three children are thriving, and the third has made major improvements. The foster family loves the children and wants to adopt all three. Each child is bonded to their foster parents, but not to Mom.

         The trial court found Mom's course of conduct met statutory grounds (D), (E), (N), (O), and (P), and terminating Mom's parental rights was in the children's best interests. It terminated Mom's parental rights to the three children. Mom appeals.

         Anders Brief

         Mom's court-appointed counsel filed a motion to withdraw and a brief containing a professional evaluation of the record. The brief concludes there are no arguable grounds to reverse the termination order. The brief satisfies the requirements of Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). See In re P.M., 520 S.W.3d 24, 27 n.10 (Tex. 2016) (per curiam) (applying Anders procedures to parental rights termination cases). Counsel also represents that he provided Mom with a copy of the Anders brief, his motion to withdraw, and a form to request a free copy of the appellate record. He advised Mom of her right to review the record and file her own brief.

         We ordered Mom to file her pro se brief, if any, not later than June 17, 2019. Mom did not request a copy of the record or file a pro se brief.

         Having carefully reviewed the entire record and counsel's brief, we conclude the evidence was legally and factually sufficient to support the trial court's findings by clear and convincing evidence. We further conclude that there are no plausible grounds to reverse the termination order. We affirm the trial court's order.

         Motion ...


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