in the Interest of C.C.M., C.M., C.C.M., C.C.M., Children

NUMBER 13-20-00020-CV COURT OF APPEALS THIRTEENTH DISTRICT OF TEXAS CORPUS CHRISTI – EDINBURG IN THE INTEREST OF C.C.M., C.M., C.C.M., C.C.M., CHILDREN On appeal from the County Court at Law of Aransas County, Texas. MEMORANDUM OPINION Before Chief Justice Contreras and Justices Longoria and Hinojosa Memorandum Opinion by Chief Justice Contreras This appeal concerns the parental rights to minor children C.C.M., C.M., C.C.M., and C.C.M.1 Appellant R.C.M., the biological mother of the children, contends by one issue that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support a finding that termination of her parental rights was in the children’s best interests. We affirm. 1 We refer to the children and their parents by their initials in accordance with the rules of appellate procedure. See TEX. R. APP. P. 9.8(b)(2). I. BACKGROUND The four female children at issue in this case were born in 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016. At the termination trial,2 Leslie Mayfield testified that she was an investigator for appellee, the Department of Family and Protective Services (the Department), from 2017 to 2019. On November 24, 2018, the Department received a report that R.C.M. was using “illegal substances in sight of the children”; that she was “using rent money to support her drug habits”; that she did not have a “clean environment to live in or food for the children to eat”; and that the children “were constantly missing school” because R.C.M. did not have clean clothes for them. Three days later, Mayfield made contact with R.C.M. and the children at a motel in Aransas Pass, and she asked R.C.M. to take an oral swab drug test. R.C.M. agreed and told Mayfield she would test positive for marijuana; in fact, the test returned negative for marijuana but positive for methamphetamine. When Mayfield returned to the motel to inform R.C.M. of the drug test result, she discovered R.C.M. and the children were no longer there. Mayfield later learned that R.C.M. had been incarcerated and the children were staying with their aunt. According to Mayfield, she was concerned about the children staying with their aunt because the aunt “was unable to obtain a power of attorney” from the children’s parents “in order to continue meeting the children’s medical and educational needs.” For example, on January 3, 2019, the oldest child had to be taken to the emergency room due to a “bad rash on her neck and head,” but she could not receive any follow-up care because the aunt did not have health insurance and was not authorized to obtain medical 2The trial also concerned the parental rights of the children’s father, R.M. The parents were each represented by counsel at trial; R.C.M. appeared personally by telephone, whereas R.M. did not appear. The judgment on appeal terminates both parents’ rights to the children. R.M. is not a party to this appeal. 2 care for the children. Mayfield testified that the Department had previously been involved with the family in 2009, when both parents tested positive for marijuana; in 2010, when …Original document