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Lacie H. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

November 26, 2013

LACIE H., Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, M.H., M.H., Appellees.

Not for Publication – Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD22019 The Honorable Jay R. Adleman, Judge Pro Tem

John L. Popilek, Scottsdale Counsel for Appellant

Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Michael Valenzuela Counsel for Appellee Arizona Department of Economic Security

Judge Margaret H. Downie delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Lawrence F. Winthrop and Judge Jon W. Thompson joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

DOWNIE, Judge

¶1 Lacie H. ("Mother") appeals the juvenile court's order terminating her parental rights to M.B.H. and M.D.H. (collectively, "Children"). For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY[1]

¶2 M.B.H. was born in December 2005 in Iowa. In October 2007, Mother was charged with serving alcohol to minors. She was already on probation for writing "about $10, 000 worth of bad checks." Facing a possible prison sentence, Mother arranged for her mother ("Grandmother") to take M.B.H. for a few months.

¶3 In November 2007, Grandmother traveled from her home in Arizona to Iowa. She found M.B.H.'s living conditions "horrible" and "very dirty." Grandmother and M.B.H left Iowa with a handwritten note from Mother consenting to the arrangement. Mother did not see her son again until October 2009.

¶4 Grandmother successfully petitioned for guardianship over M.B.H., and Mother consented to the guardianship. Mother continued to have "regular [telephone] contact" with M.B.H. until about September 2008, at which point Mother concedes her contact "started waning."

¶5 Mother gave birth to M.D.H. in Iowa in December 2008. Grandmother was concerned about M.D.H. and eventually suggested that he and Mother relocate to Arizona, where they could live with her rent-free. Mother and M.D.H. moved to Arizona in October 2009.

¶6 Although Mother and Grandmother agreed that Grandmother would continue to parent M.B.H. and Mother would parent M.D.H., Mother left many parenting obligations to Grandmother. When M.D.H. arrived in Arizona, he had scabies. Mother would leave M.D.H. in his playpen for hours and would not bathe him until Grandmother asked her to do so. Grandmother had to remind Mother to feed M.D.H. Additionally, Mother would frequently leave M.D.H. with Grandmother while she stayed with her fiancé.

¶7 When her fiancĂ© relocated to Nebraska, Mother left the Children in Arizona on Christmas Day 2009 to follow him. Over the next two years, she did not visit or send letters. With Mother's consent, ...


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