STATE OF LOUISIANA IN THE INTEREST OF C.F. and B.F.
Appealed from the Caddo Parish Juvenile Court Parish of
Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 158, 525, Honorable David N.
E. HARP Counsel for Appellant Elizabeth Bryant.
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney, Counsel for Appellee The
State of Louisiana.
M. HOOD CHARLES K. PARR Assistant District Attorneys,
RENEE´ P. COTE Counsel for C.F. and B.F.
L. RANDALL, JR., Counsel for Appellee, Jeremy F.
PITMAN, COX, and McCALLUM, JJ.
trial court adjudicated two children, C.F. and B.F., to be in
need of care and, after a disposition hearing, placed them in
the custody of their father, Jeremy F., and his wife, Leslie
F. Jeremy's ex-wife, and mother of the children,
Elizabeth Bryant, appealed the judgment of disposition. For
the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial
February 20, 2018, Pansey Rogers, an employee of the
Department of Children and Family Services
("DCFS"), filed an affidavit in support of an
instanter order concerning C.F. and B.F. The affidavit stated
that as a result of Rogers's investigation into this
case, she had gleaned the following facts:
August 9, 2017, the DCFS received a report that two children,
C.F., a deaf, 12-year-old male, who communicated through sign
language only, and B.F., a 7-year-old female, were the
victims of abuse by Bryant and her boyfriend, Randy Lemoine.
The report stated that Bryant had been seen hitting C.F.
across his face and that the children were verbally abused by
both Bryant and Lemoine.
August 14, 2017, Bryant and Lemoine were asked to submit to
drug screening, and both objected. That same day, an
anonymous source at the apartment complex where Bryant and
the children resided told DCFS that approximately a week
before, a man had B.F. standing in a corner and told her to
"stand your MF ass in the corner or I will send your MF
to Johnny Gray Jones."
the investigation that day, Rogers observed C.F. at his home.
His right eye was black, but appeared to be healing. When
C.F. was interviewed a few days later, he signed, through an
interpreter, that his black eye was the result of his mother
slapping him many times. He stated that she yells at him and
often hits him. On that day, his left eye was black.
B.F.'s interview by Rogers, she stated that when she got
into trouble at home, she would be punished by having to sit
on her bed and having the television withdrawn. She also
stated that no one had hit C.F.
children were examined by a physician. At B.F.'s
examination, she was asked to tell "good stuff"
about her mother. She responded that her mother and Lemoine
would "go outside and smoke," but could not recall
anything else. Her maternal grandmother prompted her and
said, "You went swimming," but B.F. stated that her
mother was too tired. She reported that when she gets in
trouble, her mother takes away her toys or she is spanked
with a belt. B.F. has been diagnosed with ADHD and takes
medication for that condition.
examination revealed that he is hearing impaired, has ADHD
and needs dental care. He reported that his mother hits his
face. Bryant informed the physician that the children were
very rambunctious and overwhelming. The physician suggested
that she try reinforcing sign language and get counseling.
August 31, 2017, Bryant was drug screened through urine and
hair samples by The Company Clinic of Louisiana
("CCLA"). The samples were sent to Quest
Diagnostics Laboratory ("Quest Lab") in Kansas for
testing. She tested positive for marijuana.
September 21, 2017, Bryant was referred to DCFS's Family
Services program to receive domestic violence and substance
abuse assessments and random drug screens. Because C.F. wears
a cochlear implant, Bryant was instructed to complete the
procedures necessary for the implant to work, such as
recharging the batteries. She informed DCFS that when C.F.
was nine years old, she gave him the choice of whether to
wear the device, and he chose not to wear it because he heard
only loud screeching noises when he wore it. She stated that
she offered him the choice because he always violently
objected when she tried to make him wear it. She also
admitted that she did not take him to the audiologist for
DCFS attempted to follow Bryant's case, she was
uncooperative, would not complete her treatment plan, would
not submit to the random drug testing and avoided the agency.
DCFS assigned Beverly Hamilton to Bryant's case.
February 2018, DCFS received a second report concerning
Bryant and C.F., which alleged that Bryant was taking
C.F.'s ADHD medicine. Rogers interviewed C.F. at school,
and C.F. signed that he was supposed to take two pills in the
morning, but that he was only getting one, and that his
mother would take the other. Also, he was still not wearing
his cochlear device and had not worn it all year.
interviewed B.F. who told investigators that Bryant's new
boyfriend, Joshua James, would spank her behind and would
drag her to her room by her arm and squeeze it very tightly
even though ...