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.
Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad litem for
R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Bethany Cooper appeals the Cleburne County Circuit Court
order terminating her parental rights to her children, A.C.
(1/16/04), S.C. (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 childrens 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 the children.
July 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 ...