FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. J-13-749.
HONORABLE STACEY ZIMMERMAN, JUDGE.
APPELLANT: LEAH BETH LANFORD.
APPELLEE: KEITH L CHRESTMAN; JERALD A SHARUM; MISCHA KAY
R. ABRAMSON, Judge. HARRISON and GLOVER, JJ., agree.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Adams appeals from the March 6, 2015 order of the Washington
County Circuit Court terminating her parental rights to her
two-year-old daughter, E.F. This case reaches us for
the second time on appeal after we ordered rebriefing,
specifically directing Adams's counsel to address whether
the Indian Child Welfare Act (the " ICWA" ) was
applicable to the proceedings below.
counsel argues that the ICWA did not govern and, therefore,
the higher standard that would apply for termination of
parental rights to an Indian child was not applicable.
Adams's counsel has refiled a no-merit brief pursuant to
Linker-Flores v. Arkansas Department of Human
Services, 359 Ark. 131, 194 S.W.3d 739 (2004), and
Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 6-9(i), asserting that there are
no issues of arguable merit to support the appeal and
requesting to be relieved as counsel. The motion is
accompanied by an abstract and addendum of the lower
court's proceedings and a brief which explained why none
of the trial court's rulings present a meritorious ground
accordance with Ark. S.Ct. R. 6-9(i)(1)(A), counsel for Adams
has reviewed the record for all rulings adverse to her made
by the court on all objections, motions, and requests, and
there were none. The clerk of this court notified Adams that
she had the right to file pro se points for reversal under
Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 6-9(i)(3). Adams has filed pro se
points. For the following reasons, we grant the motion to
withdraw and affirm.
December 26, 2013, the Department of Human Services (DHS)
filed a petition for emergency custody and dependency-neglect
after Caroline Adams was arrested and charged with
third-degree domestic battery by Fayetteville police on
December 20, 2013. The trial court entered an ex parte
order for emergency custody on December 26, 2013, which
placed E.F. in the custody of DHS. On January 3, 2014, the
court found probable cause and set the adjudication hearing
for Friday, January 31, 2014. In an order entered on
February 5, 2014, the court found, by clear and convincing
evidence, that E.F. was dependent-neglected and was at
substantial risk of serious harm as a result of neglect by
court specifically found that Adams was under the influence
of methamphetamine, that she had admitted to ingesting large
amounts of methamphetamine, and that she had been arrested
for domestic battery against her mother. Adams had been taken
to Washington Regional Medical Center for medical treatment
and hospitalized for several days due to ingestion of
methamphetamine. There was no legal caretaker for E.F.
because the putative father had not yet established paternity
and was living in Maryland. At the time of the hearing, Adams
was incarcerated on charges of conspiracy to deliver
18, 2014, a review hearing was held, and the court found that
the goal of the case was reunification with a concurrent goal
of adoption. Adams continued to remain incarcerated. She had
not maintained contact with DHS, had not submitted to weekly
drug screens or a drug-and-alcohol assessment, and had not
attended parenting classes offered. Adams, however, stated