Furnish v. Ark. Dep't of Human Servs. (Majority)

Annotate this Case
Download PDF
Cite as 2017 Ark. 240 SUPREME COURT OF ARKANSAS No. CV-17-412 Opinion Delivered: August NATASHA FURNISH V. 3, 2017 APPEAL FROM THE CRAIGHEAD APPELLANT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT [NO. 16JV-15-410] ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN HONORABLE CINDY THYER, SERVICES AND MINOR CHILDREN JUDGE APPELLEES PETITION FOR REVIEW GRANTED; COURT OF APPEALS’ OPINION VACATED; CASE REMANDED TO COURT OF APPEALS. PER CURIAM On May 15, 2017, appellant Natasha Furnish filed a petition for review of the court of appeals’ May 3, 2017 memorandum opinion summarily affirming the circuit court’s order terminating her parental rights to three of her children. We grant the petition for review, vacate the court of appeals’ opinion, and remand this case to the court of appeals for a full opinion as required by this court’s recent decision in Brookshire Grocery Co. v. Morgan, 2017 Ark. 221 (per curiam). In Brookshire, a workers’ compensation case in which the appellant had filed a petition for review of the court of appeals’ memorandum opinion, we overruled In re Memorandum Opinions, 16 Ark. App. 301, 700 S.W.2d 63 (1985) (per curiam), and amended Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 5-2(e), both of which the court of appeals had relied on as authority for issuing memorandum opinions in certain cases. We then vacated the court of appeals’ Cite as 2017 Ark. 240 opinion and remanded to that court for a full and meaningful analysis of the issues raised on appeal. In light of Brookshire, we vacate the court of appeals’ May 3, 2017 opinion in the present case and remand to that court for a full analysis. We further note our concern with the use of a memorandum opinion in a case involving the termination of parental rights. As Furnish asserts in her petition for review, the use of such opinions in termination cases is inconsistent with the procedural and constitutional safeguards that have been required by this court in these cases. Petition for review granted; court of appeals’ opinion vacated; case remanded to court of appeals. 2