FROM THE SEBASTIAN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FORT SMITH DISTRICT
[NO. 66FJV-17-196], HONORABLE LEIGH ZUERKER, JUDGE
Lightle, Raney, Streit & Streit, LLP, by: Jonathan R. Streit,
K. Howard, Jonesboro, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad litem for
J. GLADWIN, Judge
Appellant Deana Davis appeals the January 24, 2019 order of
the Sebastian County Circuit Court terminating her parental
rights to her minor children, J.E., K.E., and E.J. Deana
challenges the statutory grounds relied on by the court to
terminate her parental rights and makes a general challenge
to the courts best-interest finding. We affirm.
March 26, 2017, Eric Jenkins was arrested for public
intoxication, disorderly conduct, refusal to submit to
arrest, and third-degree domestic battery. The arrest
occurred after Deana reported that Eric had been drinking and
attacked her— specifically, that Eric pushed Deana into
a window multiple times while the children were near the
scene of the incident. A hotline call was made on April 3,
2017, regarding the March 26, 2017 incident.
April 3, the Arkansas State Police notified appellee, the
Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), about the
domestic-abuse incident between Deana and Eric. On April 4,
Deana executed an affidavit in support of a petition for
domestic order of protection regarding the events from March
26. DHS initiated a non-court-ordered protective-services
case and held a staffing on April 6. Deana agreed to abide by
the no-contact order and comply with DHSs recommendations
for services, such as domestic-violence classes and HUD
April 11, DHS held another staffing with Deana at which time
she stated that she would not have obtained the no-contact
order against Eric had DHS not become involved and that she
did not see an issue with his being around the children.
Despite this statement, Deana again agreed to abide by the
no-contact order and to participate in DHS services.
April 12, family service worker (FSW) Pearson called Eric to
discuss the case and the services that DHS was offering to
him. Eric indicated to FSW Pearson that he was residing with
Deanas mother, Vicky Davis, and that same day, when FSW
Pearson made a home visit to Vickys residence, Eric fled out
the back door because Deana and the children were inside the
residence. FSW Pearson found Eric violating the no-contact
order with Deana, and she alerted law enforcement, who
arrived and arrested both Eric and Deana for the violation.
As a result, DHS exercised a seventy-two-hour hold on the
April 17, DHS filed a petition for emergency custody and
dependency-neglect of J.E., K.E., and E.J., and on the same
day, the circuit court entered an ex parte emergency order of
custody for the three children.
April 20, the circuit court held a probable-cause hearing
wherein it found that probable cause existed at the time of
the emergency order and continued to exist for the children
to remain in DHSs custody. Additionally, the circuit court
ordered that Joshua Evans (Joshua)— father of J.E. and
K.E.— and Eric— father of E.J.— not be
allowed visitation or contact with the children. The
probable-cause order was entered on May 12, 2017.
adjudication hearing on May 25, the children were adjudicated
dependent-neglected based on Deanas stipulation regarding
her failure to protect the children. The court further
ordered a goal of reunification, and Deana was ordered to
comply with the case plan; have stable and appropriate
housing, income and transportation; complete parenting
classes; complete a drug-and-alcohol assessment and
hair-follicle tests and comply with the treatment
recommendations therefrom; and submit to random drug screens
and visits. Additionally, the court found that Eric was not a
fit parent and ordered that he have no ...