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Tanaya C v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 10, 2013

TANYA C, Appellant
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, C.S., M.S., D.S., Appellees.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD20607 The Honorable Aimee L. Anderson, Judge

Law Office of Anne M. Williams, P.C., Tempe By Anne M. Williams Counsel for Appellant

Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Amanda Holguin Counsel for Appellee ADES

Presiding Judge Peter B. Swann delivered the decision of the Court, in which Judge Patricia K. Norris and Judge Andrew W. Gould joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

PETER B. SWANN PRESIDING JUDGE

¶1 Tanya C. ("Mother") appeals from the juvenile court's order terminating her parental rights. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS[1] AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 Mother is the biological parent of C.S., M.S., and D.S.[2] (collectively "Children"), born in 2004, 2007, and 2009 respectively. The Children's fathers (Cesar M. and John Doe) are not parties to this appeal.

¶3 In August 2011, Child Protective Services ("CPS") and Phoenix Police responded to reports that Mother was shaking, squeezing and scratching M.S.'s face to prevent her from choking on a doll that only Mother believed existed. Mother stated that she had a history of head trauma that caused her memory problems, and CPS noted symptoms of mental illness. Staff of the shelter where Mother and the Children were staying alleged, inter alia, that Mother had struck M.S. with a belt, allowed M.S. to put D.S. in a dryer and turn it on, let C.S. place M.S. in a "serious choke hold, " and ignored the Children's "extremely unhygienic condition." Mother was arrested and incarcerated for nine days after police discovered that she had outstanding arrest warrants.

¶4 CPS took temporary custody of the Children upon Mother's incarceration because the shelter evicted her and no other family member was available at the time. Meanwhile, the Arizona Department of Economic Security ("DES") filed a dependency petition alleging physical abuse, neglect due to incarceration and mental illness, and a history of domestic violence. The juvenile court found the Children dependent and ordered a case plan of family reunification with a concurrent case plan of severance and adoption.

¶5 DES thereafter began to offer Mother various rehabilitation and reunification services, including, for example, psychological, psychiatric, and neuropsychological evaluations; individual counseling; parent-aide services; supervised visits; and transportation to and from appointments. In November 2011, a psychologist diagnosed Mother with a narcissistic personality disorder with paranoid traits and a mood disorder, and recommended counseling, parent-skills training, and a psychiatric evaluation. The counselor who Mother began seeing reported communication difficulties as Mother refused to heed advice and frequently became upset and defensive.

¶6 In March 2012, Mother underwent a psychiatric evaluation and was further diagnosed with a major depressive disorder and a cognitive disorder not otherwise specified. The following month Mother missed two of five scheduled counseling sessions and arrived 90 minutes late to a third one. Mother's counselor referred her for a neuropsychological evaluation and concluded that additional counseling would be unproductive when she did not appear to internalize her treatment.

¶7 The CPS case manager explained to Mother that DES could not offer her the medication and monitoring she needed, but encouraged her to apply for coverage through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System Administration ("AHCCCS"). The case manager also explained that she could possibly obtain these services at a reduced rate through publicly funded regional health care. But every time the case manager would follow up on these suggestions, Mother would "just brush it off." The case manager had Mother repeat the phone number to call to schedule services and on one occasion had a taxi bring Mother to a CPS office to make ...


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