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Conway v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

January 28, 2015

TIMOTHY CONWAY, APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES and MINOR CHILD, APPELLEES

APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, TENTH DIVISION. NO. 60JV-12-2264. HONORABLE JOYCE WILLIAMS WARREN, JUDGE.

AFFIRMED.

Leah Lanford, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for appellant.

Tabitha Baertels McNulty, Office of Policy and Legal Services, for appellee.

Chrestman Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad litem for minor child.

ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge. VIRDEN and HIXSON, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 704

ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge

Appellant Timothy Conway appeals the order filed March 21, 2014, by which the Pulaski County Circuit Court terminated his parental rights to his daughter, T.C., born November 20, 2012. He argues that there was insufficient evidence to support the termination of parental rights. We affirm.

On November 20, 2012, Lawanna Bell--a Wrightsville prison inmate--gave birth

Page 705

to T.C. Appellant, who is both Ms. Bell's husband and T.C.'s legal father, wanted to care for T.C., but he tested positive for illegal drugs. Additionally, his criminal history included convictions for (1) raping a five-year-old female relative when he was a teenager; (2) failing to register as a sex offender; (3) manufacturing and possessing a controlled substance; and (4) possession of a firearm.

On November 29, 2012, appellee, the Department of Human Services, (DHS) filed a petition for emergency custody of T.C. because her mother was incarcerated, her father--appellant--was a registered sex offender, and there were no other appropriate legal caretakers willing to provide care for her. The case proceeded, and T.C. was adjudicated dependent-neglected four months after the initial custody petition. The circuit court, given appellant's criminal history, declined to place custody of T.C. with appellant, stating,

[Appellant] was not--and is still not--appropriate to take [T.C.] into his physical custody because he is a sex offender who is on parole, the conditions of which required that he is not to be around ...

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