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In re H.R.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler

January 3, 2018

IN THE INTEREST OF H.R., A CHILD

         APPEAL FROM THE 411TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT TRINITY COUNTY, TEXAS (Tr.Ct.No. 22098)

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

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PER CURIAM

         S.M. appeals the termination of her parental rights. S.M.'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

         S.M. is the mother, and J.R.[1] is the father of H.R. On November 17, 2015, the Department of Family and Protective Services (the Department) filed an original petition for protection of H.R., for conservatorship, and for termination of S.M.'s and J.R.'s parental rights. The Department was appointed temporary managing conservator of the child, and S.M. and J.R. were granted limited access to and possession of the child.

         At the conclusion of the trial on the merits, the jury found, by clear and convincing evidence, that S.M.'s parental rights should be terminated. Based on the jury's findings, the trial court found, by clear and convincing evidence, that S.M. had engaged in one or more of the acts or omissions necessary to support termination of her parental rights under subsections (D), (E), (N) and (O) of Texas Family Code section 161.001(b)(1). The trial court also found that termination of the parent-child relationship between S.M. and H.R. is in the child's best interest. Based on these findings, the trial court ordered that the parent-child relationship between S.M. and H.R. be terminated. This appeal followed.

         Analysis Pursuant to Anders v. California

         S.M.'s counsel filed a brief in compliance with Anders, stating that counsel 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 counsel's brief. We find nothing in the record that might arguably support the appeal.[2] See Taylor v. Tex. Dep't of Protective & Regulatory Servs., 160 S.W.3d 641, 646-47 (Tex. App.-Austin 2005, pet. denied).

         Disposition

         We agree with S.M.'s counsel that the appeal is wholly frivolous. In accordance with In re P.M., 520 S.W.3d 24, 27 (Tex. 2016), counsel for S.M. has not moved to withdraw. Accordingly, counsel's obligation to S.M. has not yet been discharged. See id. If S.M., after consulting with counsel, desires to file a petition for review, counsel should timely file with the Texas Supreme Court "a petition for review that satisfies the standards for an Anders brief." See id. at 27-28; see also A.C. v. Tex. Dep't of Family & Protective Servs., No. 03-16-00543-CV, 2016 WL 5874880, at *1 n.2 (Tex. App.-Austin Oct. 5, 2016, no pet.) (mem. op.). Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment. See Tex. R. App. P. 43.2.

         JUDGMENT

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


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