FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, ELEVENTH DIVISION
[60JV-14-1002] HONORABLE PATRICIA JAMES, JUDGE
ABSTRACT AND ADDENDUM ORDERED
Office of Kathryn L. Hudson, by: Kathryn L. Hudson, for
Firth, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee. Chrestman
Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad litem for
J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge
termination-of-parental-rights case, Alyssa Ekberg and Jerry
Ashmore appeal the Pulaski County Circuit Court's order
filed April 8, 2016, terminating their parental rights to
their two children, E.H. (born October 26, 2007) and H.A.
(born December 18, 2013). On appeal, the parents argue that there
was insufficient evidence to (1) support the allegation of
abuse at adjudication, (2) that termination was in the best
interest of the children by clear and convincing evidence,
and (3) that aggravating circumstances existed as a ground
for termination. We do not reach the merits of
appellants' argument because their appellate brief does
not comply with Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 6-9 (2016).
heart of the Arkansas Department of Human Services' (DHS)
case is the bruising found on E.H. in May 2014 and the
similar bruising that had previously occurred in Texas when
Jerry admittedly used a belt to discipline E.H. We review
termination-of-parental-rights cases de novo. Villaros v.
Ark. Dep't of Human Servs., 2016 Ark.App. 399, at
4-6, __S.W.3d, __, __. The abstract contained in
appellants' brief fails to include an abridgment of the
testimony from the record on pages 881-82.
Supreme Court Rule 6-9 (e)(2)(C) provides that an
appellant's petition on appeal shall include
[a]n abstract or abridgment of the transcript that consists
of an impartial condensation of only such material parts of
the testimony of the witnesses and colloquies between the
court and counsel and other parties as are necessary to an
understanding of all questions presented to the court for
the questions and answers contained in the record as set
forth above are a material part of the testimony, these pages
in the record must be included in the abstract. Therefore,
the abstract must be supplemented.
6-9 also provides in relevant part as follows:
Following the signature and certificate of service, the
appellant's petition shall contain an addendum which
shall include true and legible photocopies of the order,
judgment, decree, ruling, or letter opinion from which the
appeal is taken, a copy of the notice of appeal, and
any other relevant pleadings, documents, or exhibits
essential to an understanding of the case[.]
Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 6-9(e)(2)(E) (emphasis added). Further,
Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 4-2(a)(8)(A)(i) (2016) provides
that all notices of appeal must be included in the addendum,
along with "any other pleading or document in the record
that is essential for the appellate court to affirm its
jurisdiction, to understand the case, and to decide the
issues on appeal."
instant case, appellants' notices of appeal are included
in the record but are not included in the addendum. Further,
the psychological evaluation of the parents conducted by Dr.
Paul Deyoub and contained in the addendum as
"Petitioner's Exhibit 7" is missing page 20.
Because the rules above require that the notice of appeal be
included along with any document essential for this court to
understand the case, appellants must supplement the addendum
with the notices and the missing page of Dr. Deyoub's
evaluation. Rule 4-2 also provides that if this court
determines that deficiencies or omissions in the abstract or
addendum need to be corrected, but complete rebriefing is not
needed, then the court will order appellant ...