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Lynandra W. v. Department of Child Safety, D.P.

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

October 6, 2015

LYNANDRA W., Appellant,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY, D.P., G.P., Appellees.

Not for Publication – Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD17731 The Honorable Bradley H. Astrowsky, Judge

Denise L. Carroll, Esq., Scottsdale By Denise L. Carroll Counsel for Appellant

Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By JoAnn Falgout Counsel for Appellees

Presiding Judge Kenton D. Jones delivered the decision of the Court, in which Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Peter B. Swann joined.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

JONES, Judge

¶1 Lynandra W. (Mother) argues insufficient evidence supports the juvenile court's finding that D.P. and G.W. (collectively, the Children) were dependent as a result of Mother's substance abuse. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS[1] AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2 In October 2014, the Department of Child Safety (DCS) received a report that Mother and G.W. both tested positive for opiates and marijuana at the hospital following G.W.'s birth. Upon review of past reports of Mother and her other children[2] testing positive for opiates and cocaine at birth, DCS filed a dependency petition as to G.W. and Mother's then four-year-old son, D.P. Mother agreed to an in-home dependency, with maternal grandmother to serve as safety monitor, and to participate in urinalysis and hair follicle drug screens, as well as substance abuse treatment.

¶3 Between October and December 2014, Mother presented for seven of twenty-one required urinalysis tests. She tested positive for marijuana seven times, cocaine once, opiates once, provided an insufficient sample on one occasion, and missed thirty-one of fifty-three call-in days. As a result, DCS took temporary custody of the Children in December 2014, placed them in a licensed foster home, sought and obtained an order changing physical custody, and proceeded with its petition alleging Mother was unable or unwilling to parent the Children as a result of substance abuse. A subsequent hair follicle drug screen of maternal grandmother, the safety monitor, also tested positive for methadone.

¶4 Mother contested the dependency petition but agreed at a December 2014 mediation to participate in parent aide and case aide services, supervised visitation, a psychological evaluation, substance abuse testing, and substance abuse assessment and treatment. DCS agreed to provide transportation services. An adjudication hearing on the dependency petition was scheduled for March 5, 2015.

¶5 At the hearing, the DCS case manager expressed concerns regarding Mother's ability to care for the Children while under the influence of drugs. After the Children were removed from Mother's care, she presented for only two of seven required urinalysis tests in January 2015 and tested positive for marijuana both times. Additionally, she missed nine of twenty-three call-in days. Between February 1 and 20, 2015, Mother presented for two of three required urinalysis tests and failed to call in five times. She tested positive for marijuana on the first test, and the second was still in process at the time of the hearing. Mother also refused to provide a hair follicle sample on two occasions in February.

¶6 Mother testified she knew she was supposed to call into the drug testing agency every day but provided no explanation for her failure to do so. She estimated she had missed "maybe five" tests because she did not have transportation. DCS conceded it had not provided Mother with transportation services as agreed at the mediation.

¶7 Mother also testified she had a "prescription" for two of the three substances she tested positive for at G.W.'s birth - marijuana and opiates. However, she did not provide a copy of any prescriptions or her medical marijuana card to DCS or the juvenile court. In fact, Mother admitted her medical marijuana card expired in early October 2014, and she had been purchasing and using marijuana illegally for the five months immediately preceding the trial. And, the DCS case manager testified that holding a ...


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