J.F.G. AND C.L.G. APPELLANTS
PEARL RIVER COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 12/11/2015
FROM WHICH APPEALED: PEARL RIVER COUNTY CHANCERY COURT HON.
DAWN H. BEAM JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS: JAMES L. GRAY
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
STEVEN PATRICK WANSLEY
LEE, C.J., ISHEE AND GREENLEE, JJ.
This is an appeal from Pearl River County Chancery Court
where the chancellor terminated the parental rights of the
appellants. On appeal, the appellants assert that (1) the
chancellor did not find that the grounds for termination of
parental rights were established by clear and convincing
evidence, (2) the chancellor did not consider all evidence
before her, and (3) the State did not prove the grounds for
termination of parental rights by clear and convincing
evidence. Finding no error, we affirm.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW
J.F.G. is the biological mother of the minor
children. C.L.G. was the legal father of three, and
the biological father of two, of the minor
In August 2012, the Pearl River County Department of Human
Services (DHS) received a report of (1) sexual abuse of one
of the minor children and (2) drug use by the
mother. Per an order from the Pearl River County
Youth Court, the minor children were placed in DHS custody,
where they have remained continuously. The mother and
father were subsequently arrested for possession of a
controlled substance. On November 14, 2012, the minor
children were adjudicated as neglected by the youth court.
The mother and father entered into service agreements with
DHS in November 2012. Both failed to successfully complete
their respective agreements. The mother failed to (1)
complete drug rehabilitation, (2) maintain sufficient
housing, (3) maintain visitation with the minor children, and
(4) complete a psychological exam. She was also arrested in
March 2013 for use of crystal methamphetamine. After the
March 2013 arrest, she was admitted to the Mississippi State
Hospital at Whitfield and completed a twenty-eight day
drug-treatment program. After completion of the program, DHS
and the mother entered into a second service agreement in May
2013. She failed to complete that agreement when she (1)
failed to pay child support, (2) failed to maintain adequate
housing, and (3) admitted to using crystal methamphetamine
again in November 2013. She was arrested again and sentenced
to a program overseen by the drug court.
The father failed to (1) complete drug treatment in a
reasonable time, (2) maintain employment and housing, (3)
maintain visitation with the minor children, (4) clear
pending legal issues, and (5) complete a psychological exam.
He tested positive for methamphetamine, and was also arrested
and incarcerated for possession of a controlled substance
with intent to distribute during this time.
On April 30, 2014, following the mother's and the
father's repeated failures to satisfy the requirements of
the service agreements, the youth court determined that
reunification was no longer in the best interests of the
minor children and changed the recommendation of the
permanency plan from reunification to termination. On October
22, 2014, DHS filed a petition to terminate the parental
rights of the mother and father.
A one-day trial was held on December 9, 2015. At trial, two
DHS social workers testified, the original social worker
assigned to the case during the pertinent events and the
social worker assigned to the case during trial. The original
social worker testified to the above facts regarding the
allegations of abuse and neglect, the parents'
service-agreement failures, and the reports of drug use. In
recounting forensic interviews conducted between the minor
children and the forensic interviewer, the original social
worker also testified that from 2008 to 2012 while the mother
was at work, she kept her children at the home of a longtime
friend. During this time the friend was living with a
registered sexual offender, who was romantically involved
with the friend. While at the friend's home, one of the
minor children was inappropriately touched between her legs
and buttocks by the sexual offender, was repeatedly asked if
she would engage in fellatio with the sexual offender, and
observed the sexual offender ...