FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, EIGHTH DIVISION [NO.
60JV-17-1434], HONORABLE WILEY A. BRANTON, JR., JUDGE
Bowers Lee, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for
Appellant, Kimberly Pace, appeals a Pulaski County Circuit
Court order terminating her parental rights to K.W. (born
11/28/17). Paces counsel has filed a motion
to withdraw and a no-merit brief pursuant to our rules and
caselaw, stating that there are no meritorious grounds to
support an appeal. Ark. S.Ct. R. 6-9 (2019);
Linker-Flores v. Ark. Dept of Human Servs., 359
Ark. 131, 194 S.W.3d 739 (2004).
clerk of our court mailed a certified copy of counsels
motion and brief to Paces last-known address at the Arkansas
Department of Correction informing her of her right to file
pro se points for reversal, and Pace untimely filed pro se
points. We affirm the courts decision to terminate Paces
parental rights to K.W. and grant counsels motion to
review termination-of-parental-rights cases de novo.
Cheney v. Ark. Dept of Human Servs., 2012 Ark.App.
209, 396 S.W.3d 272. An order terminating parental rights
must be based on a finding by clear and convincing evidence
that the termination is in the childrens best interest.
Id. The circuit court must consider the likelihood
that the children will be adopted if the parents rights are
terminated and the potential harm that could be caused if the
children are returned to a parent. Harper v. Ark. Dept
of Human Servs., 2011 Ark.App. 280, 378 S.W.3d 884. The
circuit court must also find that one of the grounds stated
in the termination statute is satisfied. Id. Clear
and convincing evidence is that degree of proof that will
produce in the fact-finder a firm conviction that the
allegation has been established. Pratt v. Ark. Dept of
Human Servs., 2012 Ark.App. 399, 413 S.W.3d 261. When
the burden of proving a disputed fact is by clear and
convincing evidence, we ask whether the circuit courts
finding on the disputed fact is clearly erroneous.
Id. A finding is clearly erroneous when, although
there is evidence to support it, we are left with a definite
and firm conviction that a mistake has been made.
dependency-neglect cases, if, after studying the record and
researching the law, appellants counsel determines that the
appellant has no meritorious basis for appeal, then counsel
may file a no-merit petition and move to withdraw. Ark. S.Ct.
R. 6-9(i)(1). The petition must include an argument section
that lists all adverse rulings that the parent received at
the circuit court level and explain why each adverse ruling
is not a meritorious ground for reversal. Ark. S.Ct. R.
6-9(i)(1)(A). The petition must also include an abstract and
addendum containing all rulings adverse to the appealing
parent that were made during the hearing from which the order
on appeal arose. Ark. S.Ct. R. 6-9(i)(1)(B).
circuit court considered testimony, exhibits, and statements
of the parties in deciding to terminate Paces parental
rights. The Arkansas Department of Human Services
(Department) filed a petition for emergency custody and
dependency-neglect on December 4, 2017, and attached an
affidavit setting forth the following relevant facts:
following K.W.s birth, Pace tested positive for PCP, and
K.W. tested positive for PCP and methamphetamine. Pace denied
using methamphetamine and PCP but she admitted that she drank
alcohol and used marijuana, and she explained that she had
been around people using PCP. K.W. was admitted to the NICU
and was treated for withdrawal. Pace told the caseworker that
she has two other children living in California and that she
did not have current addresses for those children. Pace
acknowledged that she had been diagnosed with bipolar
disorder and that she refused to take her medication. K.W.
was removed from Paces care and placed under a
seventy-two-hour emergency hold.
court entered the order for emergency custody and found that
K.W. was ...