FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, EIGHTH DIVISION [NO.
60JV17-557], HONORABLE WILEY A. BRANTON, JR., JUDGE
Tabitha McNulty, Arkansas Public Defender Commission,
Dependency-Neglect Appellate Division, for appellant.
T. WHITEAKER, Judge
Appellant Brittany Baltimore appeals an order of the Pulaski
County Circuit Court terminating her parental rights to
her three daughters— twins IB and EB (DOB 02/17/2015)
and AW (DOB 06/24/2016). Baltimores counsel has filed a
motion to withdraw from representation and 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) (2018), stating that there
are no meritorious grounds to support an appeal. The clerk
mailed a certified copy of counsels motion and brief to
Baltimore at her last-known address informing her of her
right to file pro se points for reversal, but the packet was
returned and marked "unclaimed," "unable to
forward," and "return to sender." Because
there are no issues of arguable merit presented, we affirm
and grant counsels motion to withdraw.
Facts and Procedural History
is the biological mother of IB, EB, and AW. She has an
extensive history with the Arkansas Department of Human
Services (Department). In 2012, the Department initiated a
dependency-neglect proceeding against Baltimore as to two
other children due to her drug usage and her continued
association with abusive men. The Department removed
those children from her custody after their father was
arrested in the home for drug possession, and authorities
found cocaine in plain sight and in reach of the children.
One of the children, a one-year-old, tested positive for
cocaine and codeine. In this previous dependency-neglect
action, the court found Baltimore unfit, in part, due to her
drug usage. In July 2013, the court terminated her parental
rights finding that despite being offered services aimed at
rehabilitation, Baltimore had failed to address her
substance-abuse issues, had failed to visit the children, had
failed to comply with the case plan, and had repeatedly lied
to the court, prompting the court to suggest she be
prosecuted for perjury.
current dependency-neglect action, the Department received a
hotline referral in May 2017 after two-year-old IB was
treated at Arkansas Childrens Hospital (ACH) for a
four-day-old fractured femur that had required a surgical
repair. Baltimores explanation as to how the injury occurred
was not plausible and did not match the presentation or
severity of the childs injuries. Additionally, Baltimore
was uncooperative during the initial investigation. While she
admitted that IB has a twin, she refused to tell the
investigator where the child could be located and denied
having a third child. When the Department eventually located
the other children, they were placed in protective custody
under a seventy-two-hour hold. Subsequent drug testing
revealed that IB had tested positive for both cocaine and
marijuana and that her one-year-old sister, AW, had tested
positive for marijuana.
the seventy-two-hour hold, the Department initiated this
action. The court adjudicated the children
dependent-neglected in July 2017 due to parental unfitness,
inadequate supervision, failure to protect, medical neglect,
and injury inconsistent with the history provided. In
addition, the court made two separate
aggravated-circumstances findings. Considering the severity
of the childs injury and Baltimores significant delay in
obtaining treatment for the child, the court found by clear
and convincing evidence that one of the children (IB) had
been subjected to extreme cruelty through medical neglect.
Considering the facts and circumstances of the previous
dependency-neglect action and Baltimores lack of progress
therein, the court also found by clear and convincing
evidence that there was little likelihood of successful
reunification despite a reasonable offer of services.
However, despite its finding of aggravated ...