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Jose R. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department E

October 17, 2013

Jose R., Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, J.M., Appellees.

Not for Publication – Ariz.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

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. JD509777 The Honorable Brian K. Ishikawa, Judge

Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General Mesa By Amanda Holguin, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellee

Arizona Department of Economic Security Christina Phillis, Maricopa County Public Advocate Mesa By Suzanne W. Sanchez, Deputy Public Advocate Attorneys for Appellant

MEMORANDUM DECISION

LAWRENCE F. WINTHROP, Presiding Judge

¶1 Jose R. ("Father") appeals the juvenile court's order terminating his parental rights to J.M. ("Child"). Father argues that reasonable evidence does not support the finding that the Arizona Department of Economic Security ("ADES") provided adequate remedial services and that termination was not in the best interest of Child. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 In November 2011, the Child Protective Services ("CPS") Hotline received a report that Catalina M. ("Mother") and Father were abusing drugs while living with Child and her half-brother in a motel room. A CPS home visit revealed drugs and syringes on the floor within Child's reach; Child was sixteen months old at the time. After her removal from Mother and Father's custody, Child was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome ("FAS") and requires substantial therapy to help her address her developmental delays.

¶3 On December 12, 2011, ADES filed a dependency petition alleging Child was dependent as to Father and Mother.[1] At the preliminary protective hearing the juvenile court ratified a family reunification case plan. The preliminary protective order placed Child and her half-brother with a family friend.[2] The juvenile court ordered Father and Mother to have one supervised visit per week for two hours. The juvenile court ordered ADES to offer, and Father agreed to, the following services: (1) Parent aide services, (2) substance abuse treatment through TERROS, (3) frequent substance abuse testing via urinalysis, and (4) transportation services.

¶4 During the pendency of this case, Father struggled with drug abuse, failed to participate in remedial services, and neglected court appearances. From November 29, 2011 until September 20, 2012, Father only appeared at TASC for urinalysis testing twice.

¶5 On January 13, 2012, Father was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Father failed to appear for mediation on February 15, 2012. On February 22, after Father failed to appear for the scheduled pretrial conference, the juvenile court converted the conference to a dependency hearing and found Child dependent as to Father.[3] At some point prior to April 9, 2012, Father was incarcerated and consequently did not participate in remedial services until his release. At the June 8 report and review hearing, upon oral motion by ADES, the court ordered the case plan changed to severance and adoption. On June 19, ADES filed a motion to terminate Father's parental rights pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 8-533(B)(3) (West 2013), [4] which provides statutory grounds for termination when a parent is unable to discharge parental responsibilities because of chronic drug abuse that will continue for a prolonged indeterminate period, and because termination was in the best interest of Child.

¶6 On July 6, 2012, Father committed criminal trespass in the third degree.[5] In July 2012, Father participated in all visits with Child and a majority of the one-on-ones with his parent aide. In August, Father participated in less than half of his visits with Child and failed to meet with his parent aide for one-on-ones. In September, Father seldom participated in visits or one-on-ones. That month Father's probation was revoked, and he was again incarcerated from September 12, 2012 to December 29, 2012. Father's parent aide services were closed out on October 10 for Father's continued failure to appear.

¶7 On April 3 and 8, 2013, the juvenile court held a contested termination adjudication hearing. The court heard testimony from the CPS case manager and Father regarding his over twenty-year substance abuse problems. Father also testified about his efforts to overcome his addiction following his most recent incarceration. The CPS case manager testified and ADES offered evidence that Father did not substantially participate in offered remedial services. On May 6, 2013, the juvenile court filed a severance order terminating Father's parental rights to Child, pursuant to A.R.S. ยง 8-533(B)(3) and because termination was in the best interest of Child. On May 17, 2013, Father filed a timely notice of appeal. We have ...


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