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Poss v. Ark. Dep't of Human Servs.

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

October 1, 2014

ANGELA POSS and GEORGE BRUMLEY, APPELLANTS
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES and G.B. and C.F., MINORS, APPELLEES

APPEAL FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. JV-2012-785. HONORABLE STACEY ZIMMERMAN, JUDGE.

AFFIRMED IN PART; MOTION TO WITHDRAW GRANTED IN PART; REBRIEFING ORDERED IN PART; MOTION TO WITHDRAW DENIED IN PART.

Dusti Standridge, for appellants.

Tabitha B. McNulty, County Legal Operations, for appellee.

BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge. WYNNE and GLOVER, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 595

BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge

Angela Poss and George Brumley appeal the Washington County Circuit Court's termination of their parental rights to G.B. and C.F. Counsel has filed a motion to withdraw as counsel and a no-merit brief stating that there are no meritorious grounds to support an appeal for either parent. Ark. S.Ct. R. 6-9 (2013); Linker-Flores v. Ark. Dep't Human Servs., 359 Ark. 131, 194 S.W.3d 739 (2004). Our court's clerk sent a copy of counsel's motion and brief to Poss and Brumley, informing them that they had the right to file pro se points for reversal. See Ark. S.Ct. R. 6-9(i)(3). Both parents did so. We affirm and grant counsel's motion to withdraw as to the mother, Angela Poss; we deny counsel's motion to withdraw as to the father, George Brumley, and order counsel to rebrief Brumley's case as a merit appeal.

I. History

G.B. (age 9) and C.F. (age 7) were removed from Angela Poss's custody in October 2012 after she was arrested for terroristic threatening, third-degree assault on a family member, and second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, and there was no other legal caretaker for the children. When the removal occurred, G.B.'s father, George Brumley, was in prison.

The court adjudicated the children dependent-neglected in November 2012. The adjudication order states that Poss was arrested for being out of control and that she had a history of illegal-drug use. The court ordered her to refrain from illegal-drug use, submit to weekly drug screens, complete parenting classes, participate in individual counseling and follow all recommendations, receive a psychological evaluation, maintain stable housing, find employment, and keep a safe, clean home. As for Brumley, the court ordered him to take classes if they were offered in prison, maintain stable housing and employment, maintain a safe, clean home, participate in individual counseling, and not use illegal drugs. The court order also authorized Brumley to send appropriate letters and cards to the children and make phone calls to G.B. at the foster parents' discretion. The court did not order any child support from either parent.

The court held a review hearing in May 2013 and found that Brumley was still incarcerated and took self-improvement classes in prison. Poss, on the other hand, had failed a drug test and her visits with the children were suspended until she could pass one drug test. The case goal remained reunification.

The permanency-planning hearing order, entered in September 2013, stated that Poss tested positive for meth and amphetamines and that Poss had admitted drug use to the DHS supervisor, Angela Wood. The court noted that although Poss had participated in individual counseling, received a psychological evaluation, and stayed in touch with the caseworker, she still had not complied with all the court orders because she missed seven drug screens, had a positive hair-follicle test, and lacked stable housing. Turning back to Brumley, the court found that he was the legal father of G.B., that he remained incarcerated and, although he had taken various parenting, life-skills, and sobriety classes in prison, Brumley could not care for the children " as he is in prison and will be for [the] next nine months." The court's order characterized Brumley's participation in reunification services ...


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