Earls v. Arkansas Department of Human Services (Majority, with Dissenting)Annotate this Case
The Arkansas Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s order terminating Father’s parental rights to his twin children. The circuit court found that Father was an unfit parent based on two statutory grounds under Ark. Code Ann. 9-27-341(b)(3)(B)(i)(b) and (b)(3)(B)(ii)(a). On appeal, Father argued that the circuit court erred in both findings because the statute requires that the children have lived out of the custody of the “parent” for twelve months. The Supreme Court agreed with Father, holding that the circuit court erred in terminating Father’s parental rights because the record did not demonstrate that Father’s legal status as the biological parent was established to apply the twelve-month time period described in the statute.