FROM THE LONOKE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 43JV-17-148],
HONORABLE BARBARA ELMORE, JUDGE
Bowers Lee, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for
K. Howard, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad litem for
M. BROWN, Judge
Appellant appeals from the circuit courts order terminating
her parental rights to B.G., born
06/13/2017. On appeal, she argues that (1) there
was insufficient evidence to support the grounds on which her
rights were terminated and (2) termination was not in B.G.s
best interest. We affirm.
was already an open protective-services case after there was
a true finding for prenatal exposure to B.G. who was born
testing positive for amphetamine, benzodiazepine, and
buprenorphine. Appellant had also tested positive for THC,
amphetamine, benzodiazepine, and buprenorphine.
visit was made to appellants home to assess the safety of
B.G. on September 19, 2017. A call had been made to family
services worker (FSW) Jordan Jackson on September 17, 2017,
regarding statements appellant made about her being scared to
leave B.G. with his father, Joe Franks. During the visit,
appellant admitted saying that Franks picked up B.G. and
"screamed and yelled into his face until the point that
he turns red" and said "[y]our mother loves you
more than me; but I love her more than you." However,
she asserted that the workers "took it out of
context." Additionally, appellant tested positive for
"Amp; Bup and Meth." Appellant stated that it was a
false positive due to her Adderall medication, but she did
not elect to contest the results.
Appellant then made some calls after which Franks entered the
home and an altercation between Franks and the FSWs began.
The FSWs called 911 and while they were trying to get to
safety outside the home, appellant got in a vehicle with B.G.
and left. When appellant left, she left her urine sample in
the home out of her sight, so the sample was not able to be
contested. Two FSWs followed appellant for about two miles
before she returned to the home and went inside. Appellant
did not have a valid drivers license and B.G. was not in a
car seat. An Officer Baldwin was at the home when they
returned. Unable to get Franks to calm down, to persuade
appellant to come out of the house, or to get the FSWs into
the home, Officer Baldwin called for assistance, and Sergeant
Page arrived shortly thereafter.
the FSWs gained entry into the house with the assistance of
law enforcement and waited on appellant to gather B.G.s
things, appellant was advised by law enforcement that she
needed to turn B.G. and his things over to the FSWs.
Appellant declined to do so asserting that she had to call
her father. Officer Baldwin then made appellant give B.G. and
his things to Sergeant Page, who in turn gave the same to FSW
Sharlow. A seventy-two-hour hold was placed on B.G.
Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) filed a petition
for ex parte emergency custody and dependency neglect on
September 20, 2017, alleging that B.G. was dependent
neglected as a result of neglect and parental unfitness. An
ex parte order granting the petition was entered on September
probable-cause order was entered on September 28, 2017. It
noted that the parents
stipulated to the existence of probable cause for B.G.s
removal. DHS was ordered to arrange one hour of supervised
visitation three times a week and two hours of supervised
visitation on Saturday at the discretion of the foster
parents, who were to supervise the visitation "within
sight and sound[.]" Appellant was ordered to participate
in a number of services at DHSs expense, including but not
limited to individual and family counseling; and random drug
screens. She was also ordered to remain drug free; complete a
drug-and-alcohol assessment, following its recommendations;
and maintain stable housing and stable income. A CASA
volunteer was appointed to the case as well. Chris ...