IN THE MATTER OF THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS TO: ARLeB and RCW, JR., Minor Children. TERESA LOUISE LeBLANC, Appellant (Respondent),
STATE OF WYOMING, DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY SERVICES, Appellee (Petitioner).
from the District Court of Sheridan County The Honorable John
G. Fenn, Judge
Representing Appellant: Kenneth DeCock, Attorney at Law,
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney
General; Misha Westby, Deputy Attorney General; Jill E.
Kucera, Senior Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Ms.
Guardians ad Litem: Office of the State Public Defender: Dan
S. Wilde, Deputy State Public Defender; Aaron S. Hockman,
Chief Trial and Appellate Counsel, Wyoming Guardian ad Litem
Program. Argument by Mr. Hockman.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights with
respect to two of her sons, ARLeB and RCW, Jr. We affirm.
Mother raises two issues:
1. Was there sufficient evidence to support termination of
Mother's parental rights?
2. Did the district court err in closing the termination
Mother's lengthy history of involvement with the
Department of Family Services (DFS) began in 2000, before the
children involved in this case were born. In early February
of 2010, law enforcement found drugs and paraphernalia in her
home, which she shared with her boyfriend and another adult
male. The children involved in this case were present when
the drugs were found. When informed of this development, DFS
had the county attorney file a neglect petition.
At the time, Mother was already receiving individual
counseling, substance abuse treatment, and parenting
education. DFS prepared a case plan with a goal of family
preservation. In April 2010, Mother signed a consent decree
which included many of the requirements contained in the case
Six months later, while Mother was still subject to the terms
of the consent decree, DFS received reports from law
enforcement that she had assaulted her oldest child ZB after
catching him in an inappropriate sex act, that ZB had bruised
ARLeB's ears, and that officers had taken the children
into protective custody. During its subsequent investigation,
DFS found the family's home to be very cluttered and
dirty, with an odor of urine. Mother could not locate
prescription medication for ARLeB, and she had not been
providing it to the child. DFS also discovered that Mother
had allowed ZB to possess pornographic material, and to
continue to supervise the two younger children, even though
ZB was known to have physically assaulted ARLeB.
After a shelter care hearing, the juvenile court placed ARLeB
and RCW, Jr. with their father and vacated the consent
decree. It later determined that Mother had neglected her
children following her admission that she had failed to
adequately supervise them, and that she had exposed them to
illegal substances and pornographic materials. Although ARLeB
remained with his father, RCW, Jr. was returned to
Mother's custody. Nevertheless, in February of 2011, with
RCW, Jr. in the home, she held a tattoo party where alcohol
and synthetic marijuana were present.
Shortly thereafter, she had a number of encounters with law
enforcement. In March of 2011, Mother was a subject in an
ongoing drug investigation that ultimately resulted in her
pleading guilty to charges of delivering a controlled
substance. Three months later, she received a suspended
sentence, but within a month, she was charged with driving