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Linker-Flores v. Arkansas Department of Human Services

Supreme Court of Arkansas

359 Ark. 131

Mary LINKER-FLORES, Anastacio Flores  v.  ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT of HUMAN SERVICES and Adrianna Flores and Aranthza Flores, minor children

Appeal from Pulaski Circuit Court

No. 03-1099. --- Delivered: Oct. 7, 2004. 

Court Documents
Opinion of the Court

  1. PARENT & CHILD—TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS—CONVINCING EVIDENCE OF DHS'S MEANINGFUL EFFORT.—Where, over the course of the fifteen month investigation, DHS offered numerous services, therapy options, and classes to appellant-husband, the trial court was presented with clear and convincing evidence of meaningful efforts by DHS as required by Ark. Code Ann. § 9-27-341 (Supp. 2003).
  2. PARENT & CHILD—TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AFFIRMED.—Where the evidence showed that husband-appellant failed to address his problems with alcohol and anger management, failed in any meaningful participation in therapy, and refused to establish a stable living environment for his children, the order terminating parental rights was affirmed.
  3. PARENT & CHILD—TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AFFIRMED.—The indigent parent is entitled to a review of the record for any appealable issues.
  4. PARENT & CHILD—TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS—ANDERS PROCEDURES ADOPTED.—Because the benefits from the Anders protections to the indigent parent's right to counsel outweighs the additional time such procedures require, the Anders procedures shall apply in cases of indigent parent appeals from orders terminating parental rights.
  5. PARENT & CHILD—TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS—ANDERS PROCEDURES.—Appointed counsel for an indigent parent on a first appeal from an order terminating parental rights may petition the appellate court to withdraw as counsel if, after a conscientious review of the record, counsel can find no issue of arguable merit for appeal; counsel's petition must be accompanied by a brief discussing any arguably meritorious issue for appeal; the indigent parent must be provided with a copy of the brief and notified of his or her right to file points for reversal within thirty days; if the appellate court determines, after a full examination of the record, that the appeal is frivolous, the court may grant counsel's motion and dismiss the appeal; if, however, the court finds any of the legal points arguable on their merits, new counsel will be appointed to argue the appeal.

Appeal from Pulaski Circuit Court Circuit Court; Rita Gruber, Judge, affirmed as to Anastacio Flores, no-merit briefing ordered as to Mary Linker-Flores.

Cuffman and Phillips, by: James H. Phillips, for appellant Anastacio Flores.

Anne Orsi Smith, P.A., by: Anne Orsi Smith, for appellant Mary Linker-Flores.

Gray Allen Turner, DHS Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.

Merry Alice Hesselbein, Attorney ad Litem, for appellees Adrianna Flores and Aranthza Flores, minor children.

[Opinion of the court by Justice ANNABELLE CLINTON IMBER.]


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