DeKalb County Department of Human Resources
from DeKalb Juvenile Court (JU-13-102.03, JU-13-103.03, and
("the mother") appeals from a judgment of the
DeKalb Juvenile Court ("the juvenile court")
terminating her parental rights to H.S., J.S., and D.S.
("the children"). We affirm the juvenile
21, 2016, the DeKalb County Department of Human Resources
("DHR") filed separate petitions seeking to
terminate the parental rights of the mother and S.S.
("the father") to H.S. (case number JU-13-102.03),
to J.S. (case number JU-13-103.03), and to D.S. (case number
JU-13-104.03). Following a trial on September 15, 2016, the
juvenile court entered a single judgment in all three cases
on October 7, 2016, terminating the parental rights of the
mother and the father to the children. On October 20, 2016,
the father filed a postjudgment motion in the three cases.
The mother filed her notice of appeal relating to the three
cases to this court on October 20, 2016; that appeal was held
in abeyance until November 1, 2016, the date on which the
juvenile court entered an order denying the father's
postjudgment motion. See Rule 4(a)(5), Ala. R. App.
P. The father has not appealed.
terminate parental rights, a juvenile court must find grounds
for termination and must consider and reject all other viable
alternatives. Ex parte Beasley, 564 So.2d 950, 955
(Ala. 1990). In this case, the mother, who testified at trial
that she was not capable of caring for the children at the
time, does not contest that the juvenile court properly found
grounds for termination. See Ala. Code 1975, §
12-15-319 (providing that a juvenile court may terminate the
parental rights of a parent who is unable to discharge his or
her parental responsibilities to and for his or her
children). The mother argues, however, that the evidence does
not support the juvenile court's determination that there
was no other viable alternative to termination of her
parental rights. Specifically, the mother contends that the
juvenile court could have placed the children in the custody
of their maternal aunts and their husbands without
terminating her parental rights.
determination of whether a viable alternative to termination
of parental rights exists in a given case is a question of
fact for the juvenile court. T.V. v. B.S., 7 So.3d
346, 352 (Ala. Civ. App. 1998). At trial, the party
petitioning for termination of parental rights bears the
burden of proving the lack of a viable alternative by clear
and convincing evidence. See Ex parte Ogle, 516
So.2d 243, 247 (Ala. 1987). Clear and convincing evidence is
"'"[e]vidence that, when weighed against
evidence in opposition, will produce in the mind of the trier
of fact a firm conviction as to each essential element of the
claim and a high probability as to the correctness of the
conclusion."'" C.O. v. Jefferson Cty.
Dep't of Human Res., 206 So.3d 621, 627 (Ala. Civ.
App. 2016) (quoting L.M. v. D.D.F., 840 So.2d 171,
179 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002), quoting in turn Ala. Code 1975,
"'[T]he evidence necessary for appellate affirmance
of a judgment based on a factual finding in the context of a
case in which the ultimate standard for a factual decision by
the trial court is clear and convincing evidence is evidence
that a fact-finder reasonably could find to clearly and
convincingly ... establish the fact sought to be proved.'
"KGS Steel[, Inc. v. McInish, ] 47 So.3d 
at 761 [(Ala. Civ. App. 2006)].
"To analogize the test set out ... by Judge Prettyman
[in Curley v. United States, 160 F.2d 229, 232-33
(D.C. Cir. 1947), ] for trial courts ruling on motions for a
summary judgment in civil cases to which a
clear-and-convincing-evidence standard of proof applies,
'the judge must view the evidence presented through the
prism of the substantive evidentiary burden'; thus, the
appellate court must also look through a prism to determine
whether there was substantial evidence before the trial court
to support a factual finding, based upon the trial
court's weighing of the evidence, that would 'produce
in the mind [of the trial court] a firm conviction as to each
element of the claim and a high probability as to the
correctness of the conclusion.'"
Ex parte McInish, 47 So.3d 767, 778 (Ala. 2008).
This court does not reweigh the evidence but, rather,
determines whether the findings of fact made by the juvenile
court are supported by evidence that the juvenile court could
have found to be clear and convincing. See Ex parte
T.V., 971 So.2d 1, 9 (Ala. 2007). When those findings