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In re R.S.P.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

December 13, 2013

In the Interest of R.S.P., et al, Children

On Appeal from the 305th Judicial District Court Dallas County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 12-753-X

Before Justices Moseley, Bridges, and Lang-Miers

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DAVID L. BRIDGES JUSTICE

Appellant Lorrine Patterson appeals the trial court's final order terminating her parental rights to her minor children, R.S.P. and A.S.P. Appellant's appointed counsel has filed a motion to withdraw, along with an Anders brief, asserting the appeal is without merit and there are no arguable grounds for reversal. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). We affirm the trial court's judgment and grant counsel's motion to withdraw.

The procedures set forth in Anders are applicable to an appeal from a trial court's order terminating parental rights when, as here, appellant's appointed counsel concludes there are no non-frivolous issues to assert on appeal. See In re D.D., 279 S.W.3d 849, 849-50 (Tex. App.— Dallas 2009, pet. denied); In re D.E.S., 135 S.W.3d 326, 329 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, no pet.); In re K.D., 127 S.W.3d 66, 67 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, no pet.). A court of appeals is not required to address the merits of claims raised in an Anders brief or a pro se response. See In re D.D., 279 S.W.3d at 850 (citing Bledsoe v. State, 178 S.W.3d 824, 827 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005)). Rather, this Court's duty is to determine whether there are any arguable grounds and, if so, to remand the case to the trial court so new counsel may be appointed to address the issues. See id.

Counsel for appellant has filed an Anders brief in which she concludes that, after a thorough review of the record, appellant's appeal of the termination of her parental rights is frivolous and without merit. See Anders, 386 U.S. at 744; In re D.E.S., 135 S.W.3d at 327, 330; In re K.D., 127 S.W.3d at 67. Counsel has certified that she delivered a copy of the brief to appellant and has informed appellant of her right to examine the appellate record and to file a response. See In re D.D., 279 S.W.3d at 850. Appellant filed a pro se response.

We have independently reviewed the entire record, counsel's Anders brief, and the pro se response. We agree with counsel's assessment that the appeal is frivolous and without merit. We find nothing in the record that could arguably support the appeal. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's final order terminating appellant's parental rights to her two children and grant counsel's motion to withdraw. See In re D.D., 279 S.W.3d at 850.

JUDGMENT

In accordance with this Court's opinion of this date, the judgment of the ...


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