Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana
Submitted: February 27, 2017
Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 2 Gregg County, Texas
Trial Court No. 2015-1278-CCL2
Morriss, C.J., Moseley and Burgess, JJ.
K. Burgess Justice
Mother appeals a judgment entered
by the Court at Law No. 2 of Gregg County (the CCL) that
terminated her parental rights to her child,
J.I.M. Because we conclude that the CCL was
without jurisdiction to enter the order terminating
Mother's parental rights to J.I.M., we vacate the
judgment and dismiss the case.
The CCL's Judgment Was Entered Without
The District Court Acquires Continuing, Exclusive
2010, the 307th Judicial District Court of Gregg County,
Texas (District Court), in cause number 2010-2179-DR, entered
a judgment that established parentage and determined
conservatorship issues with respect to J.I.M. On rendition of
that final order determining parentage, the District Court
"acquire[d] continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the
matters . . . in connection with the child." Tex. Fam.
Code Ann. § 155.001(a), (b)(2) (West Supp. 2016). Once a
Texas court has acquired continuing, exclusive jurisdiction
under Section 155.001, "no other court of this state has
jurisdiction of a suit with regard to that child except as
provided by [Chapter 155], Section 103.001(b), or Chapter
262." Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 155.001(c) (West Supp.
B. The CCL's Chapter 262 Authority
Chapter 262, the Texas Department of Family and Protective
Services (the Department) may, under certain circumstances,
take emergency possession of children without prior notice
and a hearing. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 262.001 (West
2014). Even though one court may have continuing, exclusive
jurisdiction under Chapter 155, a suit brought by a
governmental entity requesting an order under Chapter 262
"may be filed in a court with jurisdiction to hear the
suit in the county in which the child is found." Tex.
Fam. Code Ann. § 262.002 (West 2014). Chapter 262
authorizes a trial court to enter emergency orders and other
temporary orders. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §§
262.102-.103 (West Supp. 2016).
2015, the Department filed a petition in the CCL under
Chapter 262, which also prayed for conservatorship of the
child and sought to terminate Mother's and Father's
parental rights to J.I.M. The CCL entered emergency temporary
orders under its Chapter 262 authority. It then set for trial
the Department's request to terminate Mother's and
Father's parental rights to J.I.M.
The CCL Exceeded Its Chapter 262 Authority
Chapter 262 did not authorize the entry of a final order in a
suit affecting the parent-child relationship in this case.
See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 262.201 (West Supp.
2016) (stating that the result of a full adversary hearing
under Chapter 262 is "an appropriate temporary order
under Chapter 105"). In fact, as applicable to this
case, Section 262.203 states, "On the motion of a party
or the court's own motion, if applicable, the court that
rendered the temporary order shall in accordance with
procedures provided by Chapter 155: (1) transfer the suit to
the court of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction, if
any." Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 262.203(a) (West Supp.