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In re J.F.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler

December 20, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF J.F. AND C.O., CHILDREN

APPEAL FROM THE COUNTY COURT AT LAW CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS (Tr. Ct. No.2012-07-0535)

Panel consisted of Worthen, C.J., Griffith, J., and Hoyle, J.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PER CURIAM

M.F. appeals the termination of her parental rights. M.F.'s counsel filed a brief in compliance with Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), and Gainous v. State, 436 S.W.2d 137 (Tex. Crim. App. 1969). We affirm.

Background

M.F. is the mother of J.F., born November 10, 2004, and C.O., born October 2, 2009. J.F.'s father is deceased, and C.O.'s father is not a party to this appeal. On July 13, 2012, the Department of Family and Protective Services (the Department) filed an original petition for protection of J.F. and C.O., for conservatorship, and for termination of M.F.'s parental rights. The Department was appointed temporary managing conservator of the children, and M.F. was appointed temporary possessory conservator.

At the conclusion of the trial on the merits, the jury found, by clear and convincing evidence, that the parent-child relationship between M.F. and the children should be terminated. The trial court found, by clear and convincing evidence and based on the jury's findings, that M.F. had engaged in one or more of the acts or omissions necessary to support termination of her parental rights. The trial court also found that termination of the parent-child relationship between M.F., J.F., and C.O. was in the children's best interest. Based on these findings, the trial court ordered that the parent-child relationship between M.F., J.F., and C.O. be terminated. This appeal followed.

Analysis Pursuant to Anders v. California

M.F.'s counsel filed a brief in compliance with Anders, stating that he has diligently reviewed the appellate record and is of the opinion that the record reflects no reversible error and that there is no error upon which an appeal can be predicated. This court has previously held that Anders procedures apply in parental rights termination cases when the Department has moved for termination. See In re K.S.M., 61 S.W.3d 632, 634 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2001, no pet.). In compliance with Anders, counsel's brief presents a professional evaluation of the record demonstrating why there are no reversible grounds on appeal, and referencing any grounds that might arguably support the appeal. See Anders, 386 U.S. at 744, 87 S.Ct. at 1400; Mays v. State, 904 S.W.2d 920, 922-23 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 1995, no pet.).

In our duties as a reviewing court, we must conduct an independent evaluation of the record to determine whether counsel is correct in determining that the appeal is frivolous. See Stafford v. State, 813 S.W.2d 503, 511 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991); Mays, 904 S.W.2d at 923. We have carefully reviewed the appellate record and M.F.'s counsel's brief. We see nothing in the record that might arguably support the appeal, [1] and we agree that the appeal is wholly frivolous and without merit. See Taylor v. Tex. Dep't of Protective & Regulatory Servs., 160 S.W.3d 641, 646–47 (Tex. App.—Austin 2005, pet. denied).

Disposition

As required, M.F.'s counsel has moved for leave to withdraw. See Anders, 386 U.S. at 744, 87 S.Ct. at 1400. We agree with M.F.'s counsel that the appeal is wholly frivolous. Accordingly, his motion for leave to withdraw is hereby granted, and we affirm the trial court's judgment. See Tex. R. App. P. 43.2. Opinion delivered December 20, 2013.

JUDGMENT

THIS CAUSE came to be heard on the appellate record and briefs filed herein, and the same being considered, it is the opinion of this court ...


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