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Sharks v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

September 28, 2016

TOMEKO SHARKS APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND MINOR CHILD APPELLEES

         APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, TENTH DIVISION [NO. 60JN2014-1660] HONORABLE JOYCE WILLIAMS WARREN, JUDGE.

          Leah Lanford, Ark. Pub. Defender Comm'n, for appellant.

          Andrew Firth, County Legal Operations, for appellee.

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

          BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge.

         Tomeko Sharks appeals the Pulaski County Circuit Court's decision to terminate his parental rights to his child, one-year-old D.S. He argues that terminating his parental rights was not in D.S.'s best interest and that the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) failed to prove a statutory ground to support the termination. We affirm the circuit court's decision.

         I. Case History

         In December 2014, DHS took emergency custody of D.S. after someone had reported that Sharks was swinging four-month-old D.S. in a threatening manner at the Pulaski County Courthouse. Police officers arrested Sharks for public intoxication after observing him behave erratically and telling them he would kill D.S. and D.S.'s mother if he had to. The circuit court adjudicated D.S. dependent-neglected in February 2015. The court found D.S.'s putative father Tomeko Sharks's "use of alcohol with his prescription

         1 medication . . . make him an unfit parent." The court then ordered Sharks, among other things, to

1. Cooperate with DHS
2. Undergo a psychological evaluation if he hadn't undergone one within the previous six months
3. Attend and participate in individual counseling and follow all recommendations
4. Take medication as prescribed
5. Refrain from illegal drug and alcohol use
6. Undergo a drug-and-alcohol assessment
7. Submit to random drug screens
8. Complete parenting classes
9. Obtain and maintain stable employment ...

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