Custis v. Harrisonburg-Rockingham Social Services District, 080817 VACA, 0229-17-3

Docket Nº:0229-17-3
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:TIFFANY CUSTIS v. HARRISONBURG-ROCKINGHAM SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT
Attorney:Lynn C. Svonavec, on brief, for appellant. Appellant submitting on brief. Kim Van Horn Gutterman, Assistant County Attorney; Kimberle Harding, Guardian ad litem for the minor child, on brief, for appellee. Appellee and Guardian ad litem submitting on brief.
Judge Panel:Present: Judges Humphreys, O'Brien and Senior Judge Bumgardner
Case Date:August 08, 2017
Court:Court of Appeals of Virginia
 
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TIFFANY CUSTIS

v.

HARRISONBURG-ROCKINGHAM SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT

No. 0229-17-3

Court of Appeals of Virginia

August 8, 2017

FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF ROCKINGHAM COUNTY Clark A. Ritchie, Judge

Lynn C. Svonavec, on brief, for appellant. Appellant submitting on brief.

Kim Van Horn Gutterman, Assistant County Attorney; Kimberle Harding, Guardian ad litem for the minor child, on brief, for appellee. Appellee and Guardian ad litem submitting on brief.

Present: Judges Humphreys, O'Brien and Senior Judge Bumgardner

MEMORANDUM OPINION [*]

PER CURIAM.

Tiffany Custis (mother) appeals the orders terminating her parental rights to her child, L.C., and approving the goal of adoption. Mother argues that the circuit court erred in finding that the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Social Services District (the Department) presented clear and convincing evidence that terminating her parental rights to L.C. pursuant to Code § 16.1-283(C) was in the child's best interests. Upon reviewing the record and briefs of the parties, we conclude that the circuit court did not err. Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the circuit court.

BACKGROUND

We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the prevailing party below and grant to it all reasonable inferences fairly deducible therefrom. See Logan v. Fairfax Cty. Dep't of Human Dev., 13 Va.App. 123, 128, 409 S.E.2d 460, 463 (1991).

Mother had a traumatic childhood and began using drugs at age eleven. She has a history of substance abuse and crime. When mother was sixteen years old, she gave birth to her oldest child, J.1 In January 2011, mother gave birth to T.C., and in May 2015, she gave birth to L.C.[2]In October 2015, the Department received a child protective services complaint that T.C. and L.C. were being neglected. On October 27, 2015, the Department and a local drug task force visited the residence. The Department found that the apartment was "very dirty" with trash everywhere. There was a glass meth pipe on the bathroom counter, and a marijuana grinder was found in mother's purse. Maggots were in the corner of the living room. One room was closed off because of mold and mildew. There was an inadequate amount of edible food in the residence. L.C. was unclothed and without a diaper because mother did not have any diapers. Mother admitted using marijuana, and she said that she used crack cocaine and methamphetamines the prior weekend, while the children were in her care.

On October 28, 2015, the Department removed both children and placed them in the same foster home. T.C. was protective of L.C. and wanted to feed her...

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