Jessie D. v. Department of Child Safety, F.V., 111419 AZAPP1, 1 CA-JV 19-0073
|Docket Nº:||1 CA-JV 19-0073|
|Opinion Judge:||McMURDIE, JUDGE|
|Party Name:||JESSIE D., Appellant, v. DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY, F.V., M.D., M.D., C.D., Appellees.|
|Attorney:||Vierling Law Offices, Phoenix By Thomas A. Vierling Counsel for Appellant Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Sandra L. Nahigian Counsel for Appellee Department of Child Safety|
|Judge Panel:||Judge Paul J. McMurdie delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Jennifer M. Perkins joined.|
|Case Date:||November 14, 2019|
|Court:||Court of Appeals of Arizona|
Not for Publication - Rule 111(c), Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court
Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD34609 The Honorable Joseph C. Kreamer, Judge
Vierling Law Offices, Phoenix By Thomas A. Vierling Counsel for Appellant
Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Sandra L. Nahigian Counsel for Appellee Department of Child Safety
Judge Paul J. McMurdie delivered the decision of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Jennifer M. Perkins joined.
¶1 Jessie D. ("Father") appeals the termination of his parental rights to his children, Free, born in 2010, Melony, born in 2012, Madeline, born in 2013, and Creed, born in 2015 (collectively, the "children"). For the following reasons, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
¶2 In August 2017, the Department of Child Safety ("DCS") removed the children from the care of Joana V. ("Mother").1 DCS removed the children from Mother's care because of homelessness, a history of domestic violence with her significant other, and substance-abuse issues. At the time of removal, Father was incarcerated. In July 2017, Father was convicted of two counts of Aggravated Driving or Actual Physical Control While Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or Drugs, a class 4 felony. Father was sentenced to seven years in prison with a maximum release date of December 2022.
¶3 In June 2018, DCS moved to terminate Father's parental rights to the children under the length-of-felony sentence ground, Ariz. Rev. Stat. ("A.R.S.") § 8-533(B)(4). The juvenile court held a termination hearing in November 2018, during which the case manager and Father testified. Following the hearing, the juvenile court found that Father's sentence was of sufficient length to deprive the children of a normal home life for years. The court further found that DCS had shown by a preponderance of the evidence that termination of Father's parental rights would be in the children's best interests. Accordingly, the court issued an order granting DCS's termination motion regarding Father. Father appealed, and we have jurisdiction under A.R.S. § 8-235(A) and Arizona Rule of Procedure for the Juvenile Court 103(A).
¶4 To support the termination of parental rights, DCS must prove at least one statutory ground for termination by clear and convincing evidence. A.R.S. § 8-537(B); Kent K. v. Bobby M., 210 Ariz. 279, 284, ¶ 22 (2005). The juvenile court "is in the best position to weigh the evidence, observe the parties, judge the credibility of witnesses, and resolve disputed facts." ADES v. Oscar O., 209 Ariz. 332, 334, ¶ 4 (App. 2004). We review the court's termination decision for an abuse of discretion and will affirm unless no reasonable evidence supports the court's findings. Mary Lou C. v. ADES, 207 Ariz. 43, 47, ¶ 8 (App. 2004).
A. The Juvenile Court Did Not Abuse Its Discretion by Terminating Father's...
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