Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler
IN THE INTEREST OF P.R.M.D., K.C.D. AND J.M.D., CHILDREN
FROM THE 145TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT NACOGDOCHES COUNTY,
consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.
appeals the termination of his parental rights. T.M.D.'s
counsel filed a brief in compliance with Anders v.
California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493
(1967), and Gainous v. State, 436 S.W.2d 137 (Tex.
Crim. App. 1969). We affirm.
is the father and R.A.M. is the mother of P.R.M.D., K.C.D.,
and J.M.D. On May 8, 2018, the Department of Family
and Protective Services (the Department) filed an original
petition for protection of the children, for conservatorship,
and for termination of T.M.D.'s and R.A.M.'s parental
rights. The Department was appointed temporary managing
conservator of the children, and the parents were granted
limited access to, and possession of, the children. The
father, T.M.D., requested a jury trial.
trial, the evidence shows that Kassandra Romine, an
investigator with the Department, testified that in May 2018,
she received a report regarding the three children, alleging
that law enforcement went to their home because a man was
there with a gun, there was no food in the house, the oldest
child was taking home food to feed his siblings, and R.A.M.
left the children with T.M.D. and did not return for over a
month. R.A.M. admitted that the allegations were true, and
she was using methamphetamine and marijuana in the home with
the children. According to Romine, R.A.M. stated that T.M.D.
and his mother used methamphetamine, there was violence in
the home, and the children were not supervised. At that
point, Romine removed the children.
contacted T.M.D. in her office on May 8, 2018. He stated that
he did not have his own home, he was living with his mother,
he and his mother used methamphetamine, and he did not have
any appropriate family members with whom to place the
children. Romine set up visitation for both parents with the
children within five days of the removal and T.M.D. did not
appear, stating afterwards that he had to work. She scheduled
another visitation for him, but he again failed to appear.
the children's mother, testified she married T.M.D. on
November 22, 2013. She stated that T.M.D. and his mother
introduced her to methamphetamine. She and T.M.D. used drugs
when the children were in the house, but not in the same
room. In 2015, the children were removed for one night after
allegations that the children were being cared for by T.M.D.
and his mother who were using drugs. R.A.M. worked family
based services through the Department including obtaining
employment and a stable home, submitting to drug tests, and
providing a safe environment. Although T.M.D. was given the
same options, he did not work services. He denied that
allegation, stating that he completed all services.
for about six months in 2017, T.M.D. kept the children
because R.A.M. was having mental health problems and did not
believe that she was suitable to care for the children. At
that time, R.A.M. was not on medications for her diagnosed
mental health illnesses including bipolar disorder, mood
swings, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She also
attempted to harm or kill herself in the past. She stated
that T.M.D. was "clean" at that time. During that
six months, R.A.M. went to drug rehabilitation for ten days
and decided to get her life in order. Soon afterwards, on
November 3, 2017, T.M.D.'s girlfriend contacted her,
stating that they had been "kicked out" of her
house and needed a place for the children to stay. She agreed
and T.M.D. brought the children to her. R.A.M. received a
telephone call later that same day, informing her that T.M.D.
was in jail.
believed it was in the children's best interest to live
with their foster family and planned to voluntarily
relinquish her parental rights to the children if
T.M.D.'s parental rights are terminated. The children are
in a very stable environment, are thriving, and are able to
benefit in ways that she cannot provide such as
Watts, a conservatorship specialist with the Department,
testified that on the day of the adversary hearing, she gave
T.M.D. her card that included her cellular phone number on it
with voicemail. T.M.D. did not attend the family group
conference on May 31 because he was incarcerated in Shelby
County. In June 2018, Watts spoke to T.M.D. on the telephone
and went through the list of services that he would need to
complete. She also explained that T.M.D. needed to submit to
drug testing before visitations could be scheduled. Watts
informed T.M.D. that any missed drug test counted as a
positive drug test. T.M.D.'s May 8, 2018, hair follicle
drug test was positive for marijuana, amphetamine, and
methamphetamine. His urinalysis was positive for marijuana.
More than three months later, in September 2018, his drug
tests were negative and he was allowed visitation with his
gave T.M.D. a copy of his service plan on July 24, 2018, when
he was at the Nacogdoches County Jail. In addition to drug
testing, T.M.D. was required to have an evaluation through
the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) and follow all
recommendations, have a psychosocial assessment and follow
all recommendations, seek mental health services through the
Burke Center, and obtain a stable home and employment. ADAC
recommended that T.M.D. attend outpatient rehabilitation
service, but he did not successfully complete those services.
The psychosocial recommended that T.M.D. receive a full
psychological evaluation, but he did not show up for two
scheduled appointments. His home consists of living at random
friends' houses. Although T.M.D. said he worked, Watts
never received a check stub as proof of employment. T.M.D.
failed to submit to drug testing five times and other times,
he would ask to drug test. However, the tests must be random.
T.M.D. visited his children once and he had the opportunity
for as many as twenty visitations. During T.M.D.'s sole
two hour visitation with his children on October 1, 2018, he
arrived ten minutes late. He left forty-five minutes prior to
the visitation ending. He sent the children one video, for a
total of two contacts with the children in one year. T.M.D.
has not demonstrated an ability to provide the children with
a safe environment.
believed that T.M.D. engaged in conduct, or knowingly placed
the children with persons who engaged in conduct, that
endangered the physical or emotional well being of the
children because he used drugs, specifically methamphetamine
that is transferable to the children through skin-to-skin
contact, knew R.A.M. used drugs, and subjected the children
to his criminal activity and other violent people. She also
believed it was in the children's ...