IN RE AUTHUR R. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Apr 3, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Cara C. Welsh, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lola R.

Attorneys 2:

Rachel M. Wright, Hixson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Authur D.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, and Michael C. Polovich, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Berry Foster, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This is a termination of parental rights case focusing on the minor child, Authur R. (“the Child”), of Lola R. (“Mother”) and Authur D. (“Father”). The Child was placed in protective custody on June 13, 2013, after Mother was discovered to be under the influence of illegal drugs while the Child was in her custody. The Hamilton County Juvenile Court (“trial court”) adjudicated the Child dependent and neglected on November 26, 2013. On November 25, 2015, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of both Mother and Father. An amended petition to terminate was subsequently filed on May 6, 2016. DCS alleged as a basis for termination against both parents the statutory grounds of (1) abandonment by willful failure to visit, (2) abandonment by willful failure to support, (3) abandonment by an incarcerated parent, and (4) substantial noncompliance with the reasonable requirements of the permanency plans. Concerning Mother only, DCS also alleged the additional statutory grounds of (1) abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home and (2) persistence of the conditions leading to removal of the Child. Following a bench trial, the trial court granted the petition upon its determination by clear and convincing evidence that DCS had proven as to both parents the statutory grounds of abandonment by an incarcerated parent and substantial noncompliance with the reasonable requirements of the permanency plan. With regard to Mother only, the trial court determined that DCS had also proven by clear and convincing evidence the ground of persistence of the conditions leading to the Child’s removal. The trial court further determined by clear and convincing evidence that termination of Mother’s and Father’s parental rights was in the Child’s best interest. Mother and Father have appealed. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm

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