Appeal from the 326th District Court Taylor County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 9259-CX
consists of: Bailey, C.J., Stretcher, J., and Wright, S.C.J.
M. BAILEY CHIEF JUSTICE.
appeal stems from an order in which the trial court
terminated the parental rights of the mother and the alleged
father of S.N.S. The mother timely filed a notice of appeal.
In her sole issue on appeal, she challenges the factual
sufficiency of the evidence to support the trial court's
finding as to the child's best interest. We affirm.
Findings and Standards
termination of parental rights must be supported by clear and
convincing evidence. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001(b)
(West Supp. 2019). To terminate parental rights, it must be
shown by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has
committed one of the acts listed in Section
161.001(b)(1)(A)-(U) and that termination is in the best
interest of the child. Id.
case, the trial court found that the mother had committed
three of the acts listed in Section 161.001(b)(1)-those found
in subsections (E), (M), and (O). Specifically, the trial
court found that the mother had engaged in conduct or
knowingly placed the child with persons who engaged in
conduct that endangered the child's physical or emotional
well-being, that the mother had had her parental rights
terminated to another child based on a finding under
subsection (D) or (E), and that the mother had failed to
comply with the provisions of a court order that specifically
established the actions necessary for her to obtain the
return of the child. See id. §
161.001(b)(1)(E), (M), (O). The trial court also found,
pursuant to Section 161.001(b)(2), that termination of the
mother's parental rights would be in the best interest of
the child. See id. § 161.001(b)(2).
appeal, Appellant challenges the factual sufficiency of the
evidence with respect to the best interest finding; she does
not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to support the
findings under subsections (E), (M), and (O). To determine if
the evidence is factually sufficient in a parental
termination case, we give due deference to the finding and
determine whether, on the entire record, a factfinder could
reasonably form a firm belief or conviction about the truth
of the allegations against the parent. In re C.H.,
89 S.W.3d 17, 25-26 (Tex. 2002). We note that the trier of
fact is the sole judge of the credibility of the witnesses at
trial and that we are not at liberty to disturb the
determinations of the trier of fact as long as those
determinations are not unreasonable. In re J.P.B.,
180 S.W.3d 570, 573 (Tex. 2005).
respect to the best interest of a child, no unique set of
factors need be proved. In re C.J.O., 325 S.W.3d
261, 266 (Tex. App.-Eastland 2010, pet. denied). But courts
may use the non-exhaustive Holley factors to shape
their analysis. Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367,
371-72 (Tex. 1976). These include, but are not limited to,
(1) the desires of the child, (2) the emotional and physical
needs of the child now and in the future, (3) the emotional
and physical danger to the child now and in the future, (4)
the parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody,
(5) the programs available to assist these individuals to
promote the best interest of the child, (6) the plans for the
child by these individuals or by the agency seeking custody,
(7) the stability of the home or proposed placement, (8) the
acts or omissions of the parent that may indicate that the
existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one, and
(9) any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent.
Id. Additionally, evidence that proves one or more
statutory grounds for termination may also constitute
evidence illustrating that termination is in the child's
best interest. C.J.O., 325 S.W.3d at 266.
record reflects that Appellant has been involved with the
Department of Family and Protective Services since 2015. At
the time of trial in this case, the Department was the
managing conservator of four of Appellant's five
children; her other child, J.S., had been adopted by his
placement. The present case was initiated in 2018 shortly
after S.N.S.'s premature birth; her "cord
blood" tested positive for marihuana. At that time,
Appellant had an open conservatorship case that involved J.S.
Appellant's parental rights to J.S. were terminated
approximately two months after S.N.S. was born. The trial
court in J.S.'s case found that Appellant had engaged in
conduct or knowingly placed J.S. with persons who engaged in
conduct that endangered J.S.'s physical or emotional
well-being. See Fam. § 161.001(b)(1)(E).
the present case was pending, Appellant did not cooperate
with the Department, did not maintain contact with the
caseworker, and did not attempt to complete her court-ordered
services in this case. She refused to drug test throughout
the case, failed to maintain steady employment, and failed to
maintain stable housing. Furthermore, Appellant had mental
health issues and anger problems that were a major concern
for the Department. The Department had referred Appellant for
psychological evaluations and mental health treatment more
than once in the past. About two weeks before the final
hearing in this case, Appellant threatened bodily injury to
the conservatorship caseworker. She had made similar threats
to hospital personnel while S.N.S. was in the hospital's
conservatorship caseworker testified that she believed that
termination of Appellant's parental rights would be in
S.N.S.'s best interest. S.N.S. had been in the care of
the same foster parents since she was ten days old and in the
NICU. The foster parents and S.N.S. were "very
bonded," and the foster parents wanted to adopt S.N.S.
They provided a safe, stable, loving, and calm environment,
and S.N.S. was happy and well-adjusted. The CASA volunteer
that had been ...