Appeal from County Court at Law Austin County, Texas Trial
Court Cause No. 2016L-6515
consists of Justices Higley, Bland, and Brown.
Patrick Koehne appeals from an order holding him in contempt
and an order revoking suspension of commitment to county
jail. Koehne's filed his notice of appeal on December 27,
2016. On December 28, 2016, Koehne filed a Statement of
Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs.
subsequently filed requests for the reporter's records of
hearings held on August 26, 2016, December 16, 2016, January
17, 2017, and January 23, 2017. In requests for hearing
records, Koehne attached his Statement of Inability as well
as Statements of Indigence.
court reporter filed a contest and an amended contest. Koehne
filed an answer to the contest and to the amended contest,
claiming the contests were untimely filed. A hearing was held
on January 17, 2017, and the trial court signed an order the
same day sustaining the contest. On January 23, 2017, the
trial court signed an amended order, finding that Koehne had
already paid for the reporter's record for the August 26,
2016 hearing. Another hearing was held on February 6, 2017,
but the record contains no further order on Koehne's
ability to pay.
rules regarding indigence were revised effective September 1,
2016. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 145; Tex.R.App.P. 20.1.
Under the revised rules, an appellant no longer files an
affidavit of indigence, but instead files a Statement of
Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs. See Tex.
R. Civ. P. 145(a). A court reporter may contest the Statement
by filing a motion, but there is no deadline for the filing
of the contest. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 145(f)(1).
who files a statement of inability to pay court costs may be
required to prove his inability at an oral evidentiary
hearing, but the party may not be required to pay court costs
unless the trial court holds an evidentiary hearing, with
proper notice given to the declarant. See Tex. R.
Civ. P. 145(f)(5). If the trial court determines that the
declarant can afford to pay court costs, the trial court must
issue an order containing detailed findings. See
Tex. R. Civ. P. 145(f)(6). Absent a challenge, a trial court
order that the declarant can afford to pay court costs also
controls the costs on appeal unless the declarant files a
motion in the appellate court alleging a material change in
circumstances. See Tex. R. App. P. 20.1(b)(3).
declarant may challenge a ruling that the declarant can
afford to pay court costs by timely filing a motion in the
appellate court. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 145(g)(1). Once
an appellant appeals from a trial court's order finding
he or she can afford to pay costs, the trial court clerk and
court reporter must prepare at no charge a record of all
proceedings regarding the declarant's claim of indigence.
filed a timely notice of appeal from the trial court's
order, which we construe to be a motion challenging the order
under Rule 145(g)(1). Because the trial court's order
contained no findings, we issued an order on March 7, 2017,
requesting the preparation of detailed findings as required
by Rule 145(f)(6). A supplemental clerk's record was
filed on April 5, 2017, containing the trial court's
following is a summary of the trial court's findings:
1. Koehne had paid his attorney's fees of more than $12,
2. Koehne's attorney sent the court reporter a check for
$930 in payment for the August 16, 2016 hearing record;
3. At the time of the August 16, 2016 hearing, Koehne was
employed, and was earning approximately $2, 000.00 per ...