FROM THE GREENE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 28JV-17-120]
HONORABLE BARBARA HALSEY, JUDGE
Bowers Lee, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for
appellant Amber Boomhower.
Katalina Wyninger, for appellant Mark Hosier.
Firth, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Chrestman Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad
litem for minor children.
Amber Boomhower and Mark Hosier appeal from the November 14,
2018 order of the Greene County Circuit Court terminating
their parental rights to their children. Both Boomhower and
Hosier challenge the circuit court's findings on
statutory grounds for termination and best interest. We find
no error and affirm.
Procedural Facts and History
is the mother of WH (born 11/13/2006), LJ (born 8/10/2008),
and MH (born 1/23/2015). Hosier is the legal father of MH and
legal custodian of WH. LJ's legal father is not a party
to this appeal. Boomhower and Hosier have a history of
involvement with the Arkansas Department of Human Services
(Department) dating back to April 9, 2013. In 2014, WH and MH
spent three months in foster care, and the Department
provided the family with various services including cleaning
and teaching the parents how to clean. In September 2016,
there was a true finding of environmental neglect. When the
Department filed its petition for emergency custody, a
protective-services case had been open since November 16,
2016, due to environmental neglect.
April 7, 2017, the Department exercised an emergency hold on
the juveniles and filed a petition for emergency custody and
dependency-neglect five days later. In the attached
affidavit, the family-service worker averred that since the
November 2016 protective-services case was opened, the home
remained cluttered, the children continued to miss school,
and the children were not assessed for mental-health
services. The circuit court entered an ex parte order of
emergency custody on April 12. On May 4, the circuit court
held a probable-cause hearing, and it found that probable
cause existed for the children to remain in the
5, 2017, the circuit court held an adjudication hearing, and
the parties stipulated to a finding the children were
dependent-neglected due to environmental neglect. The circuit
court established a goal of reunification. Boomhower and
Hosier were ordered to comply with the standard welfare
orders of the Department and to follow the
subsequent review hearing, the court found that both
Boomhower and Hosier had partially complied with the case
plan, and the goal of the case continue to be reunification.
At a permanency-planning hearing held on March 16, 2018, the
court changed the goal of the case to adoption with a
concurrent goal of permanent relative placement. The court
did not make a finding regarding Boomhower's or
Hosier's compliance. The court conducted a fifteen-month
review hearing on June 25, and set concurrent goals of
reunification and termination of parental rights/adoption.
Again, the court made no compliance finding as to the
August 31, 2018, the Department filed a petition to terminate
the parental rights of both parents on the basis of the
following grounds: (1) twelve month failure to remedy (Ark.
Code Ann. § 9-27-341(b)(3)(B)(i)(a)) (Supp. 2017), (2)
subsequent factors (Ark. Code Ann. §
9-27-341(b)(3)(B)(vii)(a)), and (3) aggravated
circumstances-little likelihood of successful reunification
despite a reasonable offer of services (Ark. Code Ann. §
9-27-341(b)(3)(B)(ix)(a)(3)(A)). The petition also
alleged that termination was in the children's best
termination hearing on October 1, 2018, Stephanie Meeker, the
program assistant assigned to the case through the Division
of Children and Family Services, testified about her most
recent visit to the home. Meeker explained that she was not
immediately allowed into the home because Boomhower told her
Hosier had stuff out that was not safe to be around.
Boomhower eventually let Meeker into the home and told her it
was some of Hosier's swords. When asked about the clutter
that day, Meeker described it as "some trash underneath
the bed, there was stuff kind of sitting everywhere."
She went on to explain that "they have a lot of stuff
and not a whole lot of places to put it." The
children's rooms had an odor to them, and she noticed
specks on the bathroom ...