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Mark C. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 10, 2013

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

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD20674 The Honorable Joan M. Sinclair, Judge Pro Tempore

Robert D. Rosanelli, Attorney at Law, Phoenix By Robert D. Rosanelli Counsel for Appellant.

Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Michael Valenzuela Counsel for Defendant/Appellee.

Presiding Judge Maurice Portley delivered the decision of the Court, in which Judge John C. Gemmill and Judge Kent E. Cattani joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

Maurice Portley, Judge

¶1 Mark C. ("Father") appeals the order terminating his parental rights to his son, D.S. ("child"). Father argues that because the Arizona Department of Economic Security ("ADES") failed to provide him with sufficient reunification services, the termination should be reversed. Because the services were sufficient, we affirm the termination of his parental rights.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 Father and Rebecca H. are the biological parents of the child, born in August 2011.[1] The child tested positive for marijuana on the day he was born. He was placed in the care of his maternal grandmother and ADES filed a dependency petition.

¶3 The child was found to be dependent, and the juvenile court ordered a concurrent case plan of family reunification and severance and adoption. Father was provided with various services from August 2011 through May 2012, but he only participated sporadically. He stopped participating altogether when he was jailed in May 2012, pending trial on criminal charges of arson and criminal damage.

¶4 The juvenile court subsequently changed the case plan to severance and adoption, and ADES filed a petition to terminate Father's parental rights in November 2012. The petition alleged that Father was unable to discharge his parental responsibilities due to his history of drug use and there were reasonable grounds to believe that the drug use would continue for a prolonged indeterminate period under Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 8-533(B)(3) (West 2013). Father was present and represented by counsel at the severance hearing. The juvenile court subsequently issued its minute entry containing findings of fact and conclusions of law and terminated Father's parental rights to the child.

DISCUSSION

¶5 Father argues that the juvenile court erred by terminating his parental rights because ADES failed to provide him with reunification services after he was jailed on criminal charges. Father failed to raise this issue before or during the severance trial and his lawyer only asserted that he should be given services upon his release from jail. Because Father did not raise the issue of ADES' failure to provide reunification services while he was jailed, we find the argument waived. Kimu P. v. Ariz. Dep't of Econ. Sec, 218 Ariz. 39, 44, ¶ 19 n.3, 178 P.3d 511, 516 n.3 (App. 2008).

¶6 Even if we examine the issue, however, we find no error. On appeal, we will uphold the juvenile court's ruling unless its findings are clearly erroneous. Raymond F. v. Ariz. Dep't. of Econ. Sec, 224 Ariz. 373, 376, ¶ 13, 231 P.3d 377, 380 (App. 2010). We view the facts in the light most favorable to affirming its decision. Id. We will reverse only ...


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