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Shirley J. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department E

October 8, 2013

SHIRLEY J., Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, T.H., J.H., J.H., Appellees.

Not for Publication-Ariz. R.P. Juv. Ct. 88(G); ARCAP 28

Appeal from the Superior Court of Maricopa County Cause No. JD20922 The Honorable Jay R. Adleman, Judge Pro Tem

Denise L. Carroll Scottsdale Attorney for Appellant

Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General Phoenix By Nicholas Chapman-Hushek, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic Security

Julie M. Rhodes, Attorney for child T.H. Phoenix

Laurieann Perla, Guardian Ad Litem for the children Phoenix

MEMORANDUM DECISION

JON W. THOMPSON, Judge

¶1 Shirley J. (Shirley) appeals from the juvenile court's order severing her parental rights to her adopted children, T.H., J.H. (JH2), and J.H. (JH3)[1], who are also her grandchildren (the children). For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 Shirley, who lives in California, is the children's maternal grandmother; her daughter is the children's biological mother (JH1). T.H. was born in February 1998, JH2 was born in November 2001, and JH3 was born in February 2005.[2] In California in 2006, JH1 was convicted of four counts of felony corporal injury to a child and received an eight-year prison sentence. The victims in that case included T.H. and four of JH1's other children. JH1's parental rights to T.H., JH2 and JH3 were severed in California in 2006. The parental rights of the children's biological fathers were also severed in California.[3] Thereafter, Shirley adopted the children.

¶3 JH1 served approximately four years of her eight-year sentence before being released in 2010. Upon her release from prison, Shirley allowed JH1 to move into her home where the children resided, with full knowledge of JH1's convictions. Several months later, JH1 moved to Arizona and took T.H. with her, with Shirley's consent. Subsequently, in early 2011, Shirley drove JH2 and JH3 to Arizona and dropped them off with JH1. She returned home to California without any of the children.

¶4 The children first came to the attention of Arizona's Child Protective Services (CPS) in early 2011, after the agency received reports of abuse and neglect concerning the children. CPS contacted Shirley, but she did not come to Arizona until July 2011. In October 2011, CPS removed T.H., JH2 and JH3 from JH1's home in Arizona and placed them in foster care after she reported her younger daughter J.S. missing.

¶5 The Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) filed a dependency petition, and the juvenile court found that the children were dependent as to Shirley in April 2012. In October 2012, ADES filed a motion to terminate Shirley's parental rights to the children pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 8-533(B)(2) (2013) [4] (neglect or willful abuse of a child).

¶6 The juvenile court held a two-day severance trial. (ME 82). The juvenile court terminated Shirley's parental rights pursuant to A.R.S. ยง 8-533(B)(2). The court also found that severance was in the children's best interests. Shirley timely appealed. We have jurisdiction ...


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