In re K.R., No. 19A-JT-487, __ N.E.3d __ (Ind. Ct. App., Sept. 26, 2019).

Pyle, J.

Statement of the Case

A.B. (“Mother”) and J.R. (“Father”) (collectively “Parents”) each appeal the termination of the parent-child relationship with their children J.L.R. (“J.L.R.”), E.R. (“E.R.”), J.T.R. (“J.T.R.”) and K.R. (“K.R.”) (collectively “the Children”). Parents argue that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting their drug test results into evidence and that there is insufficient evidence to support the terminations. Regarding the sufficiency of the evidence, Parents argue that the Department of Child Services (“DCS”) failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that there is a reasonable probability that the conditions that resulted in the Children’s removal or the reasons for placement outside the home will not be remedied. Mother also argues that DCS failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the termination of the parent-child relationships is in the Children’s best interests and that there is a satisfactory plan for the care and treatment of the Children. Concluding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence and that there is sufficient evidence to support the termination of the parent-child relationships, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.

We affirm.

Issues

1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting Parents’ drug test results into evidence.

2. Whether there is sufficient evidence to support the terminations.

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Parents argue that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting Exhibits 30 and 31, their drug test results, into evidence over their objections. Parents specifically contend that the test results were hearsay. DCS responds that the test results were admissible pursuant to the records of regularly conducted activity exception, which was previously referred to as the business records exception, to the hearsay rule. We agree with DCS.

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Here, Parents specifically argue that their drug test results do not fit into the business records exception to the hearsay rule. In support of their argument, they direct us to Matter of L.S., 125 N.E.3d 628 (Ind. Ct. App. 2019), wherein another panel of this Court held that the exhibits that contained a mother’s Forensic Fluids’ drug test results did not fall under the business records exception to the rule against hearsay. Id. at 634. Specifically, that panel explained that although Lemberg’s affidavits explained that the laboratory reports had been maintained in the normal course of business activity as business records, the panel also had to consider whether Forensic Fluids had depended on those records to operate or to conduct business. Id. After considering this issue, the panel determined that Forensic Fluids had not depended on drug test results to operate or to conduct business. Id. Rather, the panel concluded that the drug test results had been documented for the benefit of DCS and were, therefore, not admissible under the business records exception to the hearsay rule. Id.

In support of its decision, the panel cited E.T., 808 N.E.2d at 645, wherein the Indiana Supreme Court held that reports of SCAN’s (“SCAN”) home visits and supervised visitations did not fit into the business records exception to the hearsay rule. [Footnote omitted.]…

Our review of the facts in E.T. reveals that they are distinguishable from the facts before us. Specifically, Forensic Fluids functions independently from any law enforcement body or state agency…

This conclusion is consistent with the results reached in other jurisdictions….

We further note that even if we had concluded that the trial court had improperly admitted the Parents’ drug test results, any such error was harmless because the remaining evidence presented at the termination hearing, as discussed below, was more than sufficient to support the termination of Parents’ parental rights…

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Affirmed.

Robb, J., concur in result. Mathias, J., concur.

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