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Kristy R. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C

October 1, 2013

KRISTY R., Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, K.R., Appellees.

Not for Publication -103(G) Ariz.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

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. JD12036 The Honorable Colleen McNally, Judge

Denise Lynn Carroll Scottsdale Attorney for Appellant.

Thomas C. Horne, Arizona Attorney General Tucson By Laura J. Huff, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellees.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

DIANE M. JOHNSEN, Chief Judge.

¶1 Kristy R. ("Mother") appeals the superior court's order terminating her parental rights to her daughter ("Child"). For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶2 Child was born in July` 2002, and Mother and Child's father ("Father") were married the following December. Child Protective Services ("CPS"), a division of the Arizona Department of Economic Security ("Department"), filed 19 reports during the course of Mother's relationship with Father that detailed Father's physical and sexual violence and Mother's failure to protect children in the home from that violence. In 2002, CPS filed reports stating that Father physically abused all four children in the household, sexually abused two of the children and engaged in domestic violence against Mother in the children's presence.

¶3 Throughout 2003 and 2004, one of the children reported multiple incidents of physical violence - he stated Father "kicks him all the time, " held him under water in the bathtub, and threatened to forego feeding him if he disclosed the abuse to anyone. In 2005, another child was taken to the hospital because Father put his foot on her face with so much force that marks were left. The girl told police that Father also left bruises on her brother and that he hit Child so hard that she fell on her knees.

¶4 In June 2009, Mother obtained a restraining order against Father and filed a petition to commit him to a mental-health facility. In her petition, Mother wrote that Father had threatened to kill her and that she feared for her and her children's safety. Father was committed to a mental-health clinic, but returned home in early 2011.

¶5 In late February 2011, CPS received a report that one of the children urinated blood because Father "beats [him] really bad." Child and her brother reported regular ongoing physical abuse by Father and reported that Mother did nothing to prevent the abuse, even when it occurred in her presence. The Department took temporary custody of Child and her brother and filed a petition alleging they were dependent as to Mother due to her failure to protect them from physical abuse.[1] The superior court found the children dependent as to Mother, and Child was placed in foster care.

¶6 The Department offered Mother reunification services, but she participated only sporadically. In May, June and July of 2011, Mother and Father refused to participate in one-on-one skills sessions with a parent aide. In August, both parents participated in parental skills sessions but refused to join some modules, saying they were not needed. In September, Mother began individual counseling, but denied that any domestic violence occurred in the home. From January to May 2012, Mother failed to attend any individual counseling sessions. Mother and Father separated and obtained a divorce in early 2012.

¶7 At a report and review hearing in April 2012, the Department asked that Child's case plan be changed from reunification to severance and adoption on the grounds of abuse, based on Mother's failure to protect the children, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 8-533(B)(2) (2013), and mental illness, pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-533(B)(3).[2] The Department later added the ground of 15 months time-in-care under A.R.S. § 8-533(B)(8)(c).

ΒΆ8 In May 2012, Mother restarted individual counseling, but again, participated only sporadically. While she attended all scheduled appointments between July and October 2012, she missed nearly all appointments between October and December of ...


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