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In re Rangel

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

March 29, 2017

IN RE Christina RANGEL

         Original Mandamus Proceeding[1]

          Sitting: Marialyn Barnard, Justice, Rebeca C. Martinez, Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PER CURIAM

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS CONDITIONALLY GRANTED IN PART, DENIED IN PART

         On February 4, 2017, Relator filed a petition for writ of mandamus and motion for emergency stay. The court ordered Relator's petition stricken for failing to redact the name of the minor involved in this matter. See Tex. R. App. P. 9.9. Relator filed a corrected petition and this court requested a response. Real Party in Interest filed a response on March 1, 2017. The court conditionally grants the petition for writ of mandamus in part, and denies in part.

         Background

         Relator is the mother of C.A.R., the subject of the underlying Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship. The real party in interest is C.A.R.'s father. On May 24, 2016, the trial court issued temporary orders that restricted Relator's access to C.A.R., and that did not allow Relator possession of C.A.R. as required by the standard possession order described in the Texas Family Code. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 153.101(a) (West 2014). Relator does not challenge the May 24 temporary orders. After a five day hearing in October and November, 2016, the trial court issued Additional Temporary Orders, which were signed on December 14, 2016. The additional orders further restricted Relator's access, allowing Relator to visit C.A.R. only at KidShare, a program allowing parents to visit children in a supervised setting. The additional orders removed Relator's right to have telephonic and electronic access to C.A.R. The additional orders also deprived Relator of the right to receive information concerning C.A.R.'s health, education and welfare; have access to C.A.R.'s educational records; consult with school officials concerning C.A.R.'s welfare and educational status; attend school assemblies; be designated as a person to be notified in an emergency; and consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency. Relator was also ordered not to go to C.A.R.'s school for any purpose, nor contact the school for any reason. Both the May 24 temporary orders and the additional orders designate Relator as a parent possessory conservator.

         In her petition for writ of mandamus, Relator argues the trial court abused its discretion by "imposing extreme restrictions" on Relator's access to C.A.R. without providing a means for Relator to remove those restrictions; depriving Relator of fundamental parental and constitutional rights; awarding relief beyond that justified by the real party in interest's pleadings; and failing to include findings of fact pursuant to sections 153.072 and 153.258 of the Texas Family Code.

         Relator filed very few documents with her mandamus as a record or appendix. She did not attach any of the real party in interest's pleadings and did not file a reporter's record. Although Relator states in her petition that she does not have the money to pay for the reporter's record, she did not file an affidavit of indigence.

          Analysis

         With the minimal record provided by Relator, this court lacks the information necessary to evaluate the trial court's decision as challenged by Relator in her first three issues. However, the record before us is sufficient to establish Relator's right to relief as to her fourth issue, the lack of specific fact findings in the additional orders.

         Section 153.072 of the Texas Family Code allows a court to "limit the rights and duties of a parent appointed as a conservator if the court makes a written finding that the limitation is in the best interest of the child." Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 153.072 (West 2014). Section 153.258 provides:

[w]ithout regard to Rules 296 through 299, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, in all cases in which possession of a child by a parent is contested and the possession of the child varies from the standard possession order, on written request made or filed with the court not later than 10 days after the date of the hearing or on oral request made in open court during the hearing, ...

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