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Tirika C. v. Arizona Department of Economic Security

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

December 12, 2013

TIRIKA C, Appellant,
v.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY, K.C., H.T., I.C., T.J., Appellees.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD18908 The Honorable Joan M. Sinclair, Judge

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

Arizona Department of Economic Security John L. Popilek, PC, Scottsdale By John L. Popilek Counsel for Appellant

Presiding Judge Andrew W. Gould delivered the decision of the Court, in which Judge Donn Kessler and Judge Michael J. Brown joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

ANDREW W. GOULD PRESIDING JUDGE

¶1 Tirika C. ("Mother") appeals from the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights to K.C., H.T., I.C, and T.J., her four minor children. Mother challenges the statutory grounds for severance and the court's conclusion that severance was in the children's best interests. Because we disagree with Mother, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

¶2 Mother has a total of six children. Two of her children are over 18; this appeal addresses her four minor children ranging from age 13 to age 3.

¶3 On August 17, 2011 police found Mother's younger two children, a one-year-old and a three-year-old, home without adult supervision. The home was dirty and disorganized and Mother tested positive for marijuana; as a result, her four minor children were taken into temporary physical custody. Following a preliminary protective hearing on August 31, the children were found dependent with a case plan of family reunification.

¶4 At first, Mother participated in services provided by the Arizona Department of Economic Security ("ADES"). She was referred to TERROS for substance abuse treatment, she participated in random urinalysis testing, and she was sent to individual counseling. However, Mother was removed from aftercare and placed back in treatment at TERROS because she continued to test positive for Phencyclidine ("PCP"). Despite having had four referrals to TERROS, Mother never successfully completed treatment and made no progress with individual counseling because of her inconsistent attendance.

¶5 As a result, ADES filed a petition to terminate Mother's parental rights to her four minor children. The petition alleged that Mother was unable to discharge her parental responsibilities because of her history of chronic PCP abuse and that the children had been in an out- of-home placement for a cumulative total period of fifteen months or longer.

¶6 At the start of the severance trial, Mother requested a continuance to allow her more time to locate witnesses to testify on her behalf and to demonstrate sobriety in order to better represent herself. The court denied Mother's request. Following the trial, the court found that ADES had met its burden of proof on both the grounds alleged for severance, and that it was in the best interests of the children to ...


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