Jackson County Department of Human Resources
Appeals from Jackson Juvenile Court (JU-09-274.05 and
appeal number 2180312, S.J. ("the mother") appeals
from a judgment entered by the Jackson Juvenile Court
("the juvenile court"), in case number
JU-09-274.05, terminating her parental rights to M.F., whose
date of birth is November 25, 2001. In appeal number 2180313,
the mother appeals from a separate, but almost identical,
judgment entered by the juvenile court, in case number
JU-14-91.03, terminating her parental rights to L.F., whose
date of birth is July 13, 2011. We affirm the juvenile
November 3, 2017, the Jackson County Department of Human
Resources ("DHR") filed separate petitions to
terminate the parental rights of the mother to M.F. and L.F.
("the children"). After a trial on November 27,
2018, the juvenile court entered separate judgments on
December 27, 2018, terminating the mother's parental
rights to the children. On January 9, 2019, the mother filed
a single notice of appeal, referencing both case number
JU-09-274.05 and case number JU-14-91.03.
judgment terminating parental rights must be supported by
clear and convincing evidence, which 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, § 6-11-20(b)(4)).
"'[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)].
"... [F]or 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[, ]'
[Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254
(1986)]; 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
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
rest on ore tenus evidence, this court presumes their
correctness. Id. We review the legal conclusions to
be drawn from the evidence without a presumption of
correctness. J.W. v. C.B., 68 So.3d 878, 879 (Ala.
Civ. App. 2011).
Mason, a social worker for DHR, testified that the most
recent protective-services case relating to this family had
been opened in 2012 and that the children were ultimately
removed from the mother's home and placed in foster care
in 2014. According to Mason, the children were removed
because of concerns that the children lacked supervision and
that the children's needs were not being met and because
officials from the school M.F. was attending were frequently
contacting DHR with complaints that M.F. was defecating on
himself and the school officials either could not reach the
mother or could not get her to retrieve M.F. from the
school.Elizabeth Neely, a child-welfare supervisor
with DHR, testified that DHR had also been concerned that
another child of the mother's, G.F., instead of the
mother, was the primary caretaker of the children and that
the mother had left medications within the reach of L.F.
G.F., who was 19 years old at the time of the
termination-of-parental-rights trial, was also removed from
the mother's home in 2014. At the time of the trial, G.F.
was living in an independent-living apartment through a
program called "Gateway." The mother's parental
rights to G.F. are not at issue in these cases.
Patrella, a clinical psychologist, conducted a psychological
evaluation on the mother in 2014. She diagnosed the mother
with generalized anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder with
depressed mood, and dependent personality disorder. She
testified that the mother's overall intelligence quotient
was at a "Low/Average" level with a working memory
at a "Borderline" level, which, she stated, was a
"pretty low ...