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Jose R. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C

August 27, 2013

JOSE R., Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, R.G., J.G., M.C., G.E., Appellees.

Not for Publication -Rule 103 (G), Ariz. R. P. Juv. Ct.; ARCAP 28

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. JD18328 The Honorable Mina Mendez, Judge Pro Tempore.

Thomas C. Horne, Arizona Attorney General Tucson By Cathleen E. Fuller, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic Security.

David W. Bell, Attorney at Law Mesa By David W. Bell Attorney for Appellant.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

MICHAEL J. BROWN, Presiding Judge.

¶1 Jose R. (Father), the biological father of R.G. (born June 2005), J.G. (born June 2006), and M.C. (born September 2008) (collectively, the children), [1] appeals from the juvenile court's termination of his parental rights. For the following reasons, we affirm.

BACKGROUND[2]

¶2 In April 2009, Father was stopped and arrested for driving while under the influence (DUI). At the time of the stop, R.G., J.G., and M.C. were in the vehicle. Subsequent to his arrest, Father was incarcerated for the DUI and the children were placed in Magdalene G. s (Mother) custody.[3] Father pled guilty to one count of aggravated DUI and was placed on probation and released from jail on July 10, 2009.

¶3 On August 19, 2009, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) filed a dependency petition alleging R.G., J.G. and M.C. were dependent as to Father and Mother.[4] The juvenile court granted the petition. Father participated in services and otherwise complied with the ADES case plan. On December 2, 2010, on ADES' motion, the dependency action was dismissed and the children were returned to Father's custody.

¶4 In May 2011, Father was arrested for aggravated assault. As a result, he was incarcerated and the children lived with Mother. On June 14, 2011, Father participated in a custody hearing in family court and agreed that Mother should have sole legal custody of the children.

¶5 In August 2011, the children were taken into Child Protective Services (CPS) custody after M.C. was seriously injured, allegedly by Mother's boyfriend. ADES subsequently filed another petition alleging the children were dependent as to Father and Mother. Specifically, as to Father, ADES alleged that he "neglect[ed] his children by failing to protect them from Mother's physical abuse and neglect" and that he "neglect[ed] his children due to incarceration." The juvenile court found the children dependent.

¶6 In November 2011, Father was sentenced to a thirty-month term of imprisonment for the aggravated assault crime. The maximum end date for Father's sentence is November 12, 2013.

¶7 In June 2012, ADES moved to terminate Mother and Father's parental rights to the children. ADES alleged: (1) R.G., J.G, and M.C. were cared for in an out-of-home placement pursuant to court order from August 18, 2009 until December 2, 2010 and, within eighteen months after the children were returned to Father, the children were again removed and placed in out-of-home care, and Father is currently unable to discharge parental responsibilities (A.R.S. § 8-533(B)(11)(d)); (2) Father is incarcerated and his sentence is of such length that the children would be deprived of a normal home for a period of years (A.R.S. § 8-533(B)(4)); and (3) Father failed to protect the children from willful abuse (A.R.S. § 8-533(B)(2)).

¶8 Following a contested severance hearing, the juvenile court terminated Father's parental rights to the children, finding the State had proven the three statutory bases alleged and that termination is in the children's best interests. Father appealed, and we have jurisdiction pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 8-235 and ...


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