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Owen v. Arkansas Department of Human Services and Minor Child

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

November 12, 2014

ANGELA OWEN, APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES and MINOR CHILD, APPELLEES

APPEAL FROM THE SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FORT SMITH DISTRICT [NO. JV-2013-225] HONORABLE MARK HEWETT, JUDGE

Leah Lanford, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, Dependency-Neglect Appellate Division, for appellant.

RHONDA K. WOOD, Judge

The circuit court terminated Angela Owen's parental rights to her child, I.K. Owens's counsel filed a no-merit brief and motion to withdraw. No pro se points have been filed. We affirm the court's termination order and grant counsel's motion to withdraw.

The Department of Human Services filed a petition in February 2014 to terminate Owens's parental rights. In April 2014, the court held a permanency-planning hearing, which Owens attended. The termination hearing took place later in the month, but Owens never appeared. After hearing testimony, the court found that the Department had proved five statutory grounds and that termination was in I.K.'s best interest. It subsequently granted the petition to terminate Owens's parental rights.

If appellate counsel thinks that an appeal from a termination-of-parental-rights order is meritless, he or she may file a no-merit brief. Linker-Flores v. Ark. Dep't of Human Servs., 359 Ark. 131, 194 S.W.3d 739 (2004); Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 6-9(i) (2014). The brief must list all adverse rulings and explain why none provide a meritorious ground for reversal. Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 6-9(i)(1)(A). Here, there were two adverse rulings: the termination order and one evidence-based objection. Counsel has adequately explained why neither provides a meritorious ground to appeal. We grant the motion to withdraw and affirm the termination order by memorandum opinion. See In re Memorandum Opinions, 16 Ark.App. 301, 700 S.W.2d 63 (1985).

Affirmed; motion to withdraw granted.

Glover and Vaught, JJ., agree.

No response.


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