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Sarut v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

February 11, 2015

REBECCA SARUT, APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND A.B.1, A.B.2, AND A.B.3, MINOR CHILDREN, APPELLEES

Page 342

APPEAL FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. JV 2013-123-3. HONORABLE STACEY ZIMMERMAN, JUDGE.

Dusti Standridge, for appellant.

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

RITA W. GRUBER, Judge. KINARD and BROWN, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 343

RITA W. GRUBER, Judge

Appellant, Rebecca Sarut, appeals from an order of the Washington County Circuit Court terminating her parental rights to her children: A.B.1, born April 21, 2008; A.B.2, born October 29, 2010; and A.B.3, born March 29, 2012. She contends on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to support the circuit court's decision, specifically the court's findings of grounds for termination and potential harm. We find no error and affirm the circuit court's order.

The events that led to the termination began in February 2013, when local law enforcement contacted the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) for assistance with appellant's three children. Appellant and the children's father, Franklin Boyt, were living in a hotel room in Washington County with the children.[1] Mr. Boyt had been sent to the hospital for an apparent drug overdose. Appellant appeared inebriated and was slurring her words and stumbling with A.B.3 in her arms. She tested positive for methamphetamine, opiates, and benzodiazepines and admitted to using methadone. The hotel room was filthy: dirty dishes with molded food, piles of dirty clothes on the floor, and piles of dirty clothes on the children's beds. The children were dirty and eating grapes covered in kool-aid powder when DHS arrived. Appellant also had a history with DHS--a true finding of newborn illegal-substance abuse--because she and A.B.2 tested positive for amphetamines at the time of A.B.2's birth in October 2010.

DHS assumed immediate emergency custody of the children, and the court adjudicated them dependent-neglected in an order entered March 18, 2013. The court also made a true finding against both parents for inadequate supervision and environmental neglect. The court ordered appellant to undergo a drug-and-alcohol assessment and follow the recommendations, submit to weekly random drug screens, complete parenting classes, obtain and maintain stable housing and employment,

Page 344

demonstrate the ability to protect the children and keep them safe from harm, and pay weekly child support in the amount of $30. The goal of the case was set as reunification.

In a review order five months later, the court found that appellant had completed many of the requirements but had missed her drug-and-alcohol assessment and had not rescheduled. The court also found that she had missed some random drug screens. Finally, the court ordered her to " we[a]n off methadone."

The court reviewed the case again in December 2013. In its order of December 20, 2013, the court found that appellant had not " we[a]ned down/off on her methadone" and was " still at Phase One after nearly 3 years of methadone treatment." The court found that she needed to complete inpatient treatment to address her addiction to opiates. The court also determined that she had ...


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