Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re A.N.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Tenth District

September 13, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF A.N. AND I.R.N., CHILDREN

         From the County Court at Law Ellis County, Texas Trial Court No. 91874CCL

          Before Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Scoggins

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          AL SCOGGINS Justice.

         In four issues, appellant, Beth, challenges the trial court's order terminating her parental rights to A.N. and appointing non-relatives as permanent managing conservators of I.R.N.[1] Because we overrule all of Beth's issues on appeal, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.[2]

         I. The Trial Court's Interview of the Children in Chambers

         In her first issue, Beth argues that the trial court abused its discretion when it interviewed the children in chambers about termination without a court reporter or attorneys present during a parental-termination trial brought by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (the "Department").

         Section 153.009 of the Family Code provides the following, in relevant part:

(a) In a nonjury trial or at a hearing, on the application of a party, the amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem for the child, the court shall interview in chambers a child 12 years of age or older and may interview in chambers a child under 12 years of age to determine the child's wishes as to conservatorship or as to the person who shall have the exclusive right to determine the child's primary residence. The court may also interview a child in chambers on the court's own motion for a purpose specified by this subsection.
(b) In a nonjury trial or at a hearing, on the application of a party, the amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem for the child or on the court's own motion, the court may interview the child in chambers to determine the child's wishes as to possession, access, or any other issue in the suit affecting the parent-child relationship.
. . . .
(e) In any trial or hearing, the court may permit the attorney for a party, the amicus attorney, the guardian ad litem for the child, or the attorney ad litem for the child to be present at the interview.
(f) On the motion of a party, the amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem for the child, or on the court's own motion, the court shall cause a record of the interview to be made when the child is 12 years of age or older. A record of the interview shall be part of the record in the case.

Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 153.009 (West 2014).

         On the final day of trial, after closing arguments, the trial court specifically mentioned: "I will interview the two older children in chambers later today, and then later this week, you will have my decision. If there's nothing further, you are dismissed." A review of the record shows that Beth did not object to the in-chamber interviews of the children at any point during the trial. Furthermore, the record does not reflect that: (1) Beth requested that a record be made of the interviews; (2) Beth's attorney requested to be present during the interviews; or (3) Beth complained that the interviews were conducted without any attorneys present.

         To preserve a complaint for appellate review, a party must present to the trial court a timely request, objection, or motion, and state the specific grounds for the ruling sought. See Tex. R. App. P. 33.1(a)(1); see also In re J.S., No. 05-16-00138-CV, 2017 Tex.App. LEXIS 1857, at **4-5 (Tex. App.-Dallas Mar. 6, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.). Absent a timely request, objection, or motion presented to the trial court, a complaint about an in-chamber interview of children under section 153.009 of the Family Code is not preserved. See Ellason v. Ellason, 162 S.W.3d 883, 888-89 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2005, no pet.) (concluding that appellant waived her right to complain that no record was made of an in-chamber interview of a child by failing to request that a record be made); In re J.S., 2017 Tex.App. LEXIS 1857, at **4-5; In re T.L.W., No. 12-10-00401-CV, 2012 Tex.App. LEXIS 2689, at *13 (Tex. App.-Tyler Mar. 30, 2012, no pet.) (mem. op.) (concluding that, by failing to complain to the trial court, appellant waived his complaint that no one representing his interests was allowed to be present at an in-chamber interview with a child). Therefore, because Beth failed to complain to the trial court by a request, objection, or motion regarding this issue, and because Beth did not request that a record be made of the in-chambers interview of the children, she has waived the issue on appeal. See Tex. R. App. P. 33.1(a); Ellason, 162 S.W.3d at 888-89; see also In re J.S., 2017 Tex.App. LEXIS 1857, at **4-5; In re T.L.W., 2012 Tex.App. LEXIS 2689, at *13. We overrule Beth's first issue.

         II. Sufficiency of the Evidence Supporting the Best-Interest Factors

         In her second issue, Beth contends that the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court's conclusion that termination of her parental rights to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.