Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C
Not for Publication -103(G) Ariz. R.P. Juv. Ct.; Rule 28 ARCAP
Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County Cause No. JD504216 The Honorable Helene F. Abrams, Retired Judge.
Robert D. Rosanelli Phoenix Attorney for Appellant
Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General Phoenix by Amanda Holguin, Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic Security
SAMUEL A. THUMMA, Judge
¶1 Latasha T. (Mother) challenges the superior court's termination of her parental rights to her biological child J.T. Finding no error, the superior court's order is affirmed.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2 J.T. was born in 1997 and is one of Mother's nine biological children. Mother has a long history of substance abuse, having started abusing PCP when she was 13 and has continued to abuse a variety of drugs in the 23 years since that time. For more than a decade, Mother has been diagnosed with a variety of psychological disorders. In late 2002, J.T., who has a number of special needs, was removed from Mother's care by the Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES), and found dependent as to Mother, based on allegations of Mother's substance abuse, mental illness and failure to protect J.T. from sexual abuse.
¶3 Although Mother successfully completed a substance abuse program in mid-2003 and regained custody of J.T., Mother relapsed and J.T. was taken from Mother's care in November 2005. ADES offered Mother a wide variety of services including: reunification services; substance abuse assessment and treatment; psychological, psychiatric and neuropsychological evaluations; housing subsidy; counseling; transportation; day-care assistance and domestic-violence classes. Mother continued to use drugs and was hospitalized three times since 2010 for suicidal ideations and hallucinations. During her most recent hospitalization in May 2012, Mother noted experiencing "auditory hallucinations of command nature telling her to hurt herself." Mother also tested positive for PCP and admitted to weekly PCP abuse. Mother failed to participate consistently in almost all services she was offered and in mid-2010, following an evidentiary hearing, ADES was relieved from its obligation to provide Mother services. At the time of the termination hearing, J.T. was in a therapeutic foster home that was meeting her basic and special needs and was willing and able to adopt her.
¶4 In April 2013, Mother failed to appear without good cause at a pretrial conference on ADES's motion to terminate her parental rights. After receiving testimony from an ADES caseworker and documentary evidence, the superior court granted the motion and terminated Mother's parental rights on the basis of abandonment, abuse or neglect, mental illness or substance abuse and 15 months time in care. See Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) sections 8-533(B)(1)-(3) & (B)(8)(c) (2013). This court has jurisdiction of Mother's timely appeal pursuant to Article 6, Section 9 of the Arizona Constitution and A.R.S. § 8-235(A).
¶5 The superior court may terminate a parent-child relationship if it finds by clear and convincing evidence at least one statutory ground for severance set forth in A.R.S. § 8-533(B) and that termination is in the child's best interests. Michael J. v. Ariz. Dep't of Econ. Sec, 196 Ariz. 246, 249, ¶ 12, 995 P.2d 682, 685 (2000); Marina P. v. Ariz. Dep't of Econ. Sec, 214 Ariz. 326, 329, ¶ 18, 152 P.3d 1209, 1212 (App. 2007) (discussing best interests); Jesus M. v. Ariz. Dep't of Econ. Sec, 203 Ariz. 278, 280, ¶ 3, 53 P.3d 203, 205 (App. 2002) (noting if one ground for severance is properly shown, this court "need not address claims pertaining to the other grounds"). This court will reverse an order terminating parental rights only if the factual findings are clearly erroneous or not supported by the record. See Audra T. v. Ariz. Dep't of Econ. Sec, 194 Ariz. 376, 377, ¶ 2, 982 P.2d 1290, 1291 (App. 1998).
I. The Superior Court Properly Granted The Motion To Terminate Based On Fifteen Months ...