FROM THE CLEBURNE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 12JV-17-10]
HONORABLE LEE WISDOM HARROD, JUDGE
Bowers Lee, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for
Firth, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Chrestman Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad
litem for minor children.
RAYMOND R. ABRAMSON, JUDGE
Cooper appeals the Cleburne County Circuit Court order
terminating her parental rights to her children, A.C.
(1/16/04), SC (11/16/05), and K.C. (6/19/07). On appeal,
Bethany argues that the circuit court erred by finding that
it was in the children's best interest to terminate her
parental rights. We affirm.
3, 2016, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS)
filed a petition for an ex parte emergency order for
protection of A.C., S.C., and K.C., and it listed Bethany as
their noncustodial mother. In the affidavit attached to the
petition, DHS stated that the children were living with their
father, Johnny Cooper, and their stepmother, Jessica Cooper,
and that Johnny and Jessica had domestic-violence and
alcohol-consumption issues. DHS proposed a protection plan,
which Johnny and Jessica had agreed to. The court entered an
ex parte order for protection on May 6. On June 20, the court
entered a probable-cause order. The court noted that Bethany
was not present and that she had previously lost custody of
20, the court adjudicated the children dependent-neglected
because of inadequate supervision and parental unfitness due
to the issues between Johnny and Jessica. Bethany was not
present at the hearing.
October 26, the court held a review hearing, and Bethany
appeared. The court found that Bethany had housing and
employment but had not maintained regular contact with DHS
and had not visited the children regularly. The court noted
that Bethany had tested positive for methamphetamine and MDMA
that day, but it granted her supervised visitation.
November 22, DHS filed a petition for emergency custody and
dependency-neglect. DHS alleged that Johnny had been arrested
for driving while intoxicated and domestic battery. The court
entered an ex parte order for emergency custody on November
23, and on December 6, the court entered an order finding
probable cause for the emergency custody.
March 8, 2017, the court held a review hearing. The court
noted that Bethany did not appear for the hearing but found
that the parties had agreed not to hold a second adjudication
hearing. The court found that Bethany had been substantially
compliant with the case plan. The court noted that DHS
indicated it was close to a trial home placement with
court held a review hearing on June 9. The court found that
Bethany was substantially compliant and had completed
inpatient drug treatment and attended mental-health
counseling. On September 20, the court held a review hearing
and found that Bethany had employment and housing. However,
the court noted that she had failed a hair-follicle screening
in June and that she had been recommended for additional
inpatient drug treatment. The court appointed counsel to
November 17, the court held a permanency-planning hearing.
The court changed the goal of the case to adoption and found
that Bethany had not been compliant with the case plan.
Specifically, the court noted that after failing the
hair-follicle screening, Bethany had tested positive on urine
drug screenings. The court further noted she had been
arrested but had been released on October 30.
January 23, 2018, DHS filed a petition to terminate
Bethany's parental rights. DHS alleged the
failure-to-remedy,  subsequent-factors,  and
aggravated-circumstances grounds. The court ...