Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth
THE 323RD DISTRICT COURT OF TARRANT COUNTY TRIAL COURT NO.
WALKER, MEIER, and KERR, JJ.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
ELIZABETH KERR JUSTICE
C.J. (Father) appeals the trial court's final order
terminating his parental rights to Y.R. See Tex.
Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001(b) (West Supp. 2017). The trial
court found by clear and convincing evidence that
Father's actions satisfied the ground listed in family
code section 161.001(b)(1)(Q)-that Father knowingly engaged
in criminal conduct that had resulted in his conviction and
imprisonment for an offense and that he was not able to care
for the child for not less than two years from the date that
the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services filed
the petition-and that terminating Father's parental
rights was in Y.R.'s best interest. See id.
§ 161.001(b)(1)(Q), (b)(2). Father's appellate
counsel has filed a motion to withdraw and an Anders
brief supporting his motion in which he stated that he had
professionally evaluated the record and, after thoroughly
reviewing the applicable law, had concluded that there were
no arguable grounds to advance and that the appeal was
frivolous. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738,
744, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 1400 (1967). We agree that the appeal is
frivolous and affirm the trial court's judgment. We deny
as premature counsel's motion to withdraw.
trial, Father admitted that he was serving a 35-year sentence
for a 2017 murder conviction and that he would not be
eligible for parole until he had served at least half that
sentence-17 1/2 years. The record showed that Y.R. was born
in July 2016 and that Father was convicted in 2017 sometime
before the August 2017 termination trial. Even assuming that
Father received credit for time served awaiting trial,
toddler Y.R. faced being parentless for at least his first 17
years of life.
Friday before Father's termination trial, the Department
had conducted a home study on one of Father's relatives
but had not yet approved it. That relative testified that she
wanted to adopt Y.R. and was willing to give Y.R.
Father's last name.
brief and motion present the required professional record
evaluation 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; see also In re K.M., 98 S.W.3d 774,
776- 77 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2003, order) (holding
Anders procedures apply in parental-termination
cases), disp. on merits, No. 02-01-00349-CV, 2003 WL
2006583 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth May 1, 2003, no pet.) (mem.
op.). Further, Father has been provided a copy of
counsel's motion to withdraw, brief in support of his
motion, and the record. See Kelly v. State, 436
S.W.3d 313, 318-20 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014).
Department filed a letter in which it agreed with
Father's counsel's conclusion that the appeal was
filed a pro se response to counsel's Anders brief in
which he alleged that trial counsel was ineffective and that
the evidence was insufficient.
reviewing an Anders brief, we are to independently
determine whether there are any arguable grounds for reversal
and, thus, whether counsel was correct in determining that
the appeal is frivolous. See Stafford v. State, 813
S.W.2d 503, 511 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991); K.M., 2003
WL 2006583, at *2; In re AWT, 61 S.W.3d 87, 89 (Tex.
App.-Amarillo 2001, no pet.). Our review of the record
reveals that the Department's petition notified Father on
what grounds it sought to terminate his parental rights and
that Father appeared for trial where he had an opportunity to
defend against those grounds with counsel's assistance,
to present evidence, and to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
Further, the evidence considered by the trial court legally
and factually supported its findings that (1) Father's
actions satisfied at least one ground listed in section
161.001(b)(1) and alleged in the petition for termination and
(2) terminating Father's parental rights was in
Y.R.'s best interests under section 161.001(b)(2).
See generally In re A.B., 437 S.W.3d 498, 503 (Tex.
2014) (recognizing appellate court need not detail the
evidence if affirming termination judgment). These findings
were based on credibility and weight-of-the-evidence choices
that we may not second-guess. See In re H.R.M., 209
S.W.3d 105, 108 (Tex. 2006); In re J.P.B., 180
S.W.3d 570, 573 (Tex. 2005); In re L.M.I., 119
S.W.3d 707, 712 (Tex. 2003), cert. denied, 541 U.S.
nothing in the record that might arguably support
Father's appeal; thus, we affirm the trial court's
termination judgment. See Whiting v. State, No.
02-12-00117-CR, 2013 WL 452160, at *1 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth
Feb. 7, 2013, no pet.) (mem. op., not designated for
must deny counsel's motion to withdraw without prejudice
as premature. See In re P.M., 520 S.W.3d 24, 27
(Tex. 2016); see also In re E.L., No.
02-17-00247-CV, 2017 WL 6047671, at *2 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth
Dec. 7, 2017, no pet. h.) (mem. op.). We remind counsel of
his continuing duty to represent Father through the
exhaustion of proceedings, including possibly filing a
petition for review in the supreme court. See In re
D.T., No. 02-17-00061-CV, 2017 WL 2806323, at *3 (Tex.
App.-Fort Worth June 29, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.).