Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re C. A. B.

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Second Division

August 20, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF C. A. B., a child.

          MILLER, P. J., RICKMAN and HODGES, JJ.

          RICKMAN, JUDGE.

         In this, her second appeal to this Court, [1] the mother of C. A. B. appeals the termination of her parental rights to the child, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the result. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

On appeal from an order terminating parental rights, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the juvenile court's judgment in order to determine whether any rational trier of fact could have found by clear and convincing evidence that the natural parent's rights to custody have been lost. We neither weigh evidence nor determine witness credibility, but defer to the juvenile court's findings of fact and affirm unless the appellate standard is not met.

         (Citation and punctuation omitted.) In re U. G., 291 Ga.App. 404, 404 (662 S.E.2d 190) (2008).

         Here, the record[2] and the evidence presented at the termination hearing reflect that C. A. B. was born in Georgia on February 22, 2016, and that, at the time of his birth, both the child and his mother tested positive for cocaine. After his birth, C. A. B. suffered from withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sucking, respiration issues, and poor sleep after feeding. The Whitfield County Department of Family and Children Services ("DFACS") removed C. A. B. from his mother's custody two days after birth. The juvenile court placed the child in foster care and, in April 2016, found that he was dependent as a result of his parents'[3] substance abuse, which finding has not been appealed.

         DFACS established a reunification case plan for the parents. The case plan required the parents (1) to obtain and maintain stable housing and income; (2) to complete a DFACS-sanctioned parenting class; (3) to pay child support; (4) to take psychological evaluations and follow the resulting recommendations; (5) to complete drug treatment programs; (6) to cooperate and communicate with DFACS; (7) to attend visits regularly with the child; and (8) to obtain approved hair follicle drug tests or a drug screens as requested. The court itself ordered the parents to pay child support, attend weekly supervised visits, and undergo substance abuse treatment and random drug screens.

         In May 2016, the juvenile court conducted a case plan review, judicial review, and permanency planning hearing. As a result, the court found by clear and convincing evidence that DFACS had reviewed the case plan goals with the parents; that the mother was asked to take a hair follicle drug screen but failed to do so; that the child continued to be dependent; that the mother was required to pay $65 per week in child support "beginning immediately"; and that the mother was notified that failure to pay support for a period of six months or more may result in termination of parental rights. In June 2016, the mother tested positive for cocaine in a hair follicle test.

         A citizen panel review was conducted in September 2016, but the parents failed to attend; the mother explained that she and the father were too tired because the mother was again pregnant and the father had just been released from jail. Based on the panel's findings, the court found that, although the parents had visited the child, the parents had not complied with the recommendations from their psychological evaluations, had not complied with requested hair follicle drug tests, and were not paying child support. This order was not appealed.

         In November, 2016, following a permanency hearing, the juvenile court found that the mother had failed to provide random drug screen results, had refused to be screened by an approved provider, and had provided no proof of completion of any case plan goals other than visitation. The court ordered that the parents schedule a hair follicle drug test with DFACS as soon as possible following the hearing and to provide any and all proof of completion of any case plan goals immediately.

         Later that month, the court conducted another review, which the parents attended. The court found that the parents had submitted proof of adequate housing but proof of only one week of income in the past four months; that the parents had failed to provide adequate proof that they had completed parenting training; that the parents had repeatedly refused to obtain random drug screens from acceptable labs; that they specifically failed to submit proof that they took a court-ordered drug screen on November 2, 2016; that the mother tested positive for cocaine in June 2016; and that the parents had not submitted proof of drug or alcohol treatment enrollment or completion. The court concluded:

As of this date, the court does not have proof of income, proof of dates of employment, proof of alcohol and drug treatment completion, proof of child support payments or proof of completion of treatment recommended by the psychological evaluations from someone proven to be competent to offer that treatment.

         The parents did not appeal from this order. In a drug screen that had been pending at the time of the court's order, the mother again tested positive for cocaine.

         Based on a citizen panel review in March 2017, the juvenile court found that the parents had "failed to appear for any screens or to provide screens when ordered in court," and that after being given an additional opportunity to submit proof of an appropriate screen, the parents failed to do so. In April 2017, DFACS petitioned to terminate parental rights in both parents. Following a May 2017 permanency hearing, at which the parents failed to appear despite proper notice, the juvenile court found by clear and convincing evidence "that the parents had made no progress ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.