Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Barton v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

April 24, 2019

Patricia BARTON, Appellant
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES and Minor Children, Appellees

Page 60

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 61

          APPEAL FROM THE POINSETT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 56JV-15-128], HONORABLE RALPH WILSON, JR., JUDGE

          Leah Lanford, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for appellant.

          Andrew Firth, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.

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

         OPINION

         LARRY D. VAUGHT, Judge

          Patricia Barton appeals the December 31, 2018, order entered by the Poinsett County Circuit Court terminating her parental rights to her three children, JB (born June 5, 2008), ZS (born April 8, 2013), and BS (born April 12, 2017). On appeal, Barton contends that the circuit court clearly erred in finding that statutory grounds supported termination and that termination was in the children’s best interest. She also contends that the court abused its discretion in admitting her psychological evaluation into evidence. We affirm.

          On December 10, 2015, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) filed a petition for emergency custody and dependency-neglect alleging that JB and ZS were dependent-neglected due to environmental neglect. A DHS caseworker attached an affidavit to the petition stating that Barton’s home had no heat, and it was fifty-three degrees inside the home; there were holes in the floor; there was no hot water and no refrigerator; broken windows were covered with plastic and boards; there were exposed wires in the electrical outlets; the ceiling was broken and was falling through in some places; there was no working tub; and the toilet had been broken into pieces. The caseworker further stated that DHS had a history with the Barton family dating back to November 2008 that included protective-services cases in 2013 and 2014. The circuit court entered an ex parte order for emergency custody of JB and ZS on December 14, 2015, and a probable-cause order was entered on December 16.

Page 62

          The court adjudicated JB and ZS dependent-neglected on the basis of environmental neglect, and the goal of the case was reunification. Following a review hearing, an order was entered on April 12, 2016, wherein the court found that Barton had complied with the case plan, and the court authorized a trial placement. On June 13, the court entered an order returning JB and ZS to Barton’s custody, closed the dependency-neglect case, and opened a protective-services case.

          However, on August 22, DHS filed a second petition for emergency custody of JB and ZS, in which it alleged environmental neglect. The caseworker’s affidavit accompanying this petition stated that Barton had no electricity in her home and had been evicted for failure to pay rent. Barton reported that she planned to move in with her neighbor, whom she planned to marry, but he had locked her and the children out of his apartment. She had no alternative housing plan. The court entered an ex parte order for emergency custody the same day. Later, a probable-cause order was entered, and on October 5, the court entered an adjudication order finding JB and ZS dependent-neglected due to environmental neglect.

          A January 11, 2017 review-hearing order stated that Barton complied with parts of the case plan but not others. She failed to visit the children on a regular basis and to maintain appropriate housing. The order stated that she reported she had been living with her neighbor, but because he abused her, she had been staying in a shelter for abused women. Another review-hearing order was entered on April 10. This order found that Barton had completed the psychological evaluation but lacked stable housing and struggled with the children’s behavior during visitation.

          BS was born on April 12, 2017, and on April 24, DHS filed a third petition for emergency custody and dependency-neglect alleging that BS was dependent-neglected based on DHS’s custody of his siblings. An ex parte order of emergency custody was entered the same day. A probable-cause order was entered on ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.