Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
IN THE INTEREST OF V.A.G., C.M.G., and M.R.G., Children
the 288th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2018-PA-01486 Honorable Karen H. Pozza, Judge
Sitting: Rebeca C. Martinez, Justice Beth Watkins, Justice
Liza A. Rodriguez, Justice.
C. Martinez, Justice.
("Mother") appeals the trial court's order
terminating her parental rights to V.A.G., C.M.G., and M.R.G.
Mother challenges the legal and factual sufficiency of the
evidence to support the trial court's findings on the
statutory grounds for termination. See Tex. Fam.
Code Ann. § 161.001(b)(1). We affirm.
and J.G. are the parents of three children: V.A.G.,
C.M.G., and M.R.G. On July 9, 2018, the Texas Department of
Family and Protective Services (the "Department")
filed a petition requesting temporary managing
conservatorship of the children and sought termination of
Mother's parental rights. The trial court granted the
Department's request and appointed the Department as
temporary conservator of the children. During the pendency of
the case, the trial court entered orders pertaining to the
actions necessary for Mother to obtain the return of her
children. On June 24, 2019, the trial court held a bench
trial and, following trial, terminated Mother's parental
rights. The trial court determined there was clear and
convincing evidence that termination was in the
children's best interest and that Mother (1) failed to
comply with the provisions of a court order specifically
establishing the actions necessary for her to obtain the
return of her children and (2) used a controlled substance in
a manner that endangered the health or safety of the children
and (a) failed to complete a court-ordered substance abuse
treatment program or (b) after completion of a court-ordered
substance abuse treatment program continued to abuse a
controlled substance. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §
161.001(b)(1)(O), (P). Mother timely appealed.
appeal, Mother challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to
support the trial court's findings under sections
161.001(b)(1)(O) and (P) of the Texas Family Code. See
id. A parent-child relationship can only be terminated
if the trial court finds by clear and convincing evidence
that the parent committed an act prohibited by section
161.001(b)(1) of the Texas Family Code and that termination
is in the best interest of the child. Id. §
161.001(b)(1), (2). Only one predicate finding under section
161.001(b)(1) is necessary to support a judgment of
termination when the trial court also finds that termination
is in the best interest of the child. See In re
A.V., 113 S.W.3d 355, 362 (Tex. 2003). Mother does not
challenge the trial court's finding that termination of
her parental rights is in the best interest of the children.
reviewing the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence,
we apply the standards of review established by the Texas
Supreme Court. See In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d 256,
266-67 (Tex. 2002); In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17, 28
(Tex. 2002). In evaluating the evidence for legal
sufficiency, we determine whether the evidence is such that a
factfinder could reasonably form a firm belief or conviction
that the challenged ground for termination was proven. In
re J.P.B., 180 S.W.3d 570, 573 (Tex. 2005) (per curiam).
We review all the evidence in the light most favorable to the
finding and judgment, and we resolve any disputed facts in
favor of the finding if a reasonable factfinder could have
done so. Id. We disregard all evidence that a
reasonable factfinder could have disbelieved, and we consider
undisputed evidence even if it is contrary to the finding.
Id. In reviewing the evidence for factual
sufficiency, we give due deference to the factfinder's
findings and do not supplant the verdict with our own. In
re H.R.M., 209 S.W.3d 105, 108 (Tex. 2006) (per curiam).
We determine whether, on the entire record, a factfinder
could reasonably form a firm conviction or belief that the
challenged finding is true. See In re C.H., 89
S.W.3d at 28.
Section 161.001(b)(1)(O) Finding
terminate parental rights pursuant to subsection O, the
Department must show that: (1) the child was removed under
chapter 262 of the Texas Family Code for abuse or neglect,
(2) the child has been in the permanent or temporary
conservatorship of the Department for at least nine months,
and (3) the parent "failed to comply with the provisions
of a court order that specifically established the actions
necessary for the parent to obtain the return of the
child." Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001(b)(1)(O).
"Texas courts generally take a strict approach to
subsection (O)'s application." In re
S.J.R.-Z., 537 S.W.3d 677, 690 (Tex. App.-San Antonio
2017, pet. denied) (quoting In re C.A.W., No.
01-16-00719-CV, 2017 WL 929540, at *4 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st
Dist.] Mar. 9, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.)). "Courts do
not measure the 'quantity of failure' or 'degree
of compliance'" with a court order. Id.
(quoting In re D.N., 405 S.W.3d 863, 877 (Tex.
App.-Amarillo 2013, no pet.)). "A parent's failure
to complete one requirement of her family service plan
supports termination under subsection (O)." In re
D.D.R., No. 04-18-00585-CV, 2019 WL 360657, at *2 (Tex.
App.-San Antonio Jan. 30, 2019, pet. denied) (mem. op.)
(internal quotation marks and brackets omitted) (quoting
In re J.M.T., 519 S.W.3d 258, 267 (Tex. App.-
Houston [1st Dist.] 2017, pet. denied)).
brief, Mother does not challenge the elements of subsection O
that her children were removed for abuse or neglect or that
her children were in the Department's care for at least
nine months. Mother only challenges the existence of a court
order establishing actions necessary for the return of her
children. Mother does not dispute that she failed to comply
with the Department's service plan; she argues that
because the service plan was not filed with the court,
admitted into evidence at trial, or made an order of the
court, the Department failed to meet its burden under
court signs an order appointing the Department as temporary
managing conservator under chapter 262 of the Texas Family
Code, as the trial court did here, the Department is required
to file a service plan with the court no later than
forty-five days after the order was rendered. See
Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 263.101. The trial court
"shall incorporate the original and any amended service
plan into the orders of the court." Id. §
case, no document entitled "service plan" was ever
filed with the trial court clerk or admitted into evidence.
However, specific requirements for Mother to obtain the
return of her children appear in a "Temporary Order
Following Adversary Hearing," signed by the trial court
on July 19, 2018. This order states that Mother appeared at
an adversary hearing, held on July 19, 2018, in person ...