from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court Parish of
Bossier, Louisiana Juvenile Docket No. J14010 Honorable
Edward Charles Jacobs, Judge
RICHARDSON WILSON Counsel for Appellant JERRY W. DEASON, JR.
Counsel for Plaintiff.
Appellee WILLIAM MATTHEW ALTIMUS Counsel for Plaintiff.
Appellee State of Louisiana PAMELA HARPER JACOB Counsel for
Appellee State of Louisiana DCFS DAVID O'DELL HARVILLE
Counsel for Defendants. Appellees.
BROWN, PITMAN, and STEPHENS, JJ.
appeals a judgment by the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District
Court, Parish of Bossier, State of Louisiana, terminating her
parental rights to the minor child, B.A.T. For the following
reasons, we affirm the trial court's judgment.
termination of parental rights proceeding involves B.A.T., a
female child born on December 18, 2015. The parents are
A.J.M. and S.T., who were residents of Haughton,
Louisiana. According to the affidavit in support of
an instanter order, on September 6, 2016, the State of
Louisiana, Department of Children and Family Services (the
"State") received a report that the City of
Haughton Police needed assistance regarding the minor
children, B.A.T. and L.M. (the child of A.J.M. and another
father not involved in this incident).  Police responded
to the house in Haughton pursuant to a domestic violence
call: A.J.M. and S.T. were fighting and strangling each other
in a bedroom. The children were present in the house, but
were not injured in the altercation. Also present was
A.J.M.'s sister, Elizabeth Hall. The children were
allowed to go with A.J.M.'s father, their grandfather, at
after the incident, both A.J.M. and S.T. tested positive for
amphetamines and methamphetamines. S.T. was also positive for
marijuana. B.A.T. tested positive for methamphetamines.
A.J.M. pled guilty to the charge of domestic abuse
battery-strangulation-1st Offense in Criminal Docket No. 220,
857 of the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court, Parish of
Bossier, Louisiana. During the entire time B.A.T. was in the
State's custody, A.J.M. was incarcerated, and she was not
released until the week prior to the termination hearing.
after the incident, Elizabeth's children disclosed that
A.J.M. had thrown B.A.T. on the floor, and a detective for
the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office interviewed Elizabeth
regarding the accusation. Elizabeth confirmed the accusation,
and B.A.T. was taken to University Health Shreveport hospital
for a medical examination. According to the State, a skeletal
examination showed a healed fracture of the left arm which
appeared to be about two months old. B.A.T.'s parents
later claimed to have no knowledge of the injury or how it
September 14, 2016, on the basis of neglect/lack of adequate
supervision, dependency, abuse/physical abuse, and bone
fracture, the State requested B.A.T. and L.M. be removed from
the parents' custody and the State be granted temporary
custody. At the continued custody hearing held September 19,
2016, an instanter removal order was entered, and the State
was granted custody of the children.
State filed its petition on October 17, 2016, alleging the
children to be in need of care in accordance with La. Ch. C.
art. 606, and outlined the facts stated herein. A.J.M. denied
the petition, which according to court minutes was entered on
October 31, 2016. The proceeding was called for adjudication
on November 21, 2016, and the State's petition was
offered without objection in lieu of live testimony. B.A.T.
was found to be a child in need of care and remained in
State filed its initial report on December 5, 2016, in
anticipation of the upcoming disposition hearing. At the
disposition hearing on December 12, 2016, the State offered
its report without objection. The State's plan called for
reunification and case plan goals for A.J.M. included:
• obtain and maintain housing that is physically safe
and meets the basic needs of her family-a home that is clean
and has electricity, running water, and food;
• have a legal source of income and resources to meet
the needs of her child;
• support her child and pay $100.00 per month toward
• keep the State informed of her whereabouts at all
times and notify the State within three days if her residence
• participate in a substance abuse assessment and follow
all recommendations if deemed necessary;
• participate in random drug screen by the State;
• participate, complete, and demonstrate the skills that
she has learned in her parenting classes, which help her
understand and ...