Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court
Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD 505802 The Honorable Bradley H. Astrowsky, Judge
Maricopa County Public Advocate's Office, Mesa By Suzanne W. Sanchez Counsel for Appellant
Arizona Attorney General's Office, Tucson By Laura J. Huff 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.
MARGARET H. DOWNIE JUDGE
¶ 1 Esperanza B. ("Mother") appeals the juvenile court's order terminating her parental rights. For the following reasons, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶2 Between 2004 and 2009, Child Protective Services ("CPS") received reports that K.M., H.R., and T.R. (collectively, "the Children") had been exposed to domestic violence and drugs. CPS also received several reports that one of the children was being sexually abused. Although CPS investigated, it could not substantiate these concerns. Nevertheless, a safety plan was implemented that prevented the Children from having contact with Mother's father ("Grandfather").
¶3 CPS personnel visited Mother's apartment in March 2009 and observed marijuana and pills on the bathroom counter and floor. Additionally, trash bags were strewn about the apartment, broken glass shards posed a hazard to the Children, and remnants of old food littered the floor, with food residue smashed into the carpets. Despite the earlier safety plan, Mother had a demonstrated pattern of moving the family in with Grandfather when she could not provide for the Children. Mother had previously been abused by Grandfather and knew he was a "violent and irrational person." She had witnessed Grandfather physically abuse T.R. She nevertheless left the Children alone with him and allowed Grandfather to discipline them. CPS learned that Grandfather had repeatedly hit T.R. in the face until he vomited and that he had disciplined the Children by beating them with his belt and cane, leaving bruises and marks.
¶4 In April 2011, Mother entered into a voluntary foster care agreement. To achieve family reunification, Mother was required to overcome her substance abuse issues, demonstrate sobriety via frequent drug testing, develop parenting skills, and maintain stable housing and employment. CPS offered Mother numerous services, including TERROS substance abuse counseling, drug screening, parenting skills courses, a psychological evaluation, and supervised visitation. Mother was advised that participation in these services was necessary to secure the return of the Children.
¶5 Mother failed to participate in services on a consistent basis. She was incarcerated in September 2011 after being convicted of aggravated driving under the influence, leading to a disruption of services. Mother's non-compliance with services resumed upon her release from jail in January 2012.
¶6 The juvenile court changed the case plan to severance and adoption. Arizona Department of Economic Security ("ADES") filed a motion to terminate Mother's parental rights in July 2012, alleging: (a) inability to parent due to chronic substance abuse, see Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 8-533(B)(3); and (b) substantially neglecting to remedy the circumstances that caused the Children to be in an out-of-home placement for at least nine months, see A.R.S. § 8-533(B)(8)(a). After a contested severance trial, the juvenile court granted ADES's severance motion on both grounds and found severance to be in the Children's best interest.
¶7 Mother timely appealed, challenging the evidence supporting the statutory grounds for severance, as well as the finding that termination was in the Children's best interest. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 8-235(A), 12-120.21(A)(1), -2101(A)(1) ...