the 66th District Court Hill County, Texas Trial Court No.
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Scoggins
relevant background in this private termination suit is as
On February 27, 2018, the trial court signed an order of
termination, terminating the parental rights of Appellant,
On March 5, 2018, Appellant filed with the trial court clerk
his pro se notice of appeal from the February 27,
2018 order of termination.
On March 29, 2018, Appellant filed in this Court a
"Motion, " raising several requests/issues. The
Motion contains a "Preliminary Matters" section and
a "Preliminary Statement" section. Included with
the Motion are also several reference documents that
Appellant describes as "Included Documents."
On April 6, 2018, Appellant filed in this Court his docketing
statement and a motion for extension of time to file his
reviewed the documents filed and the status of this appeal
and issue the following orders:
and Number of Copies of Documents
the documents that Appellant has filed in this appeal
contains proper proof of service. Appellant failed to sign
the certificate of service in his docketing statement.
Instead, he wrote, "Unable to serve due to indigency and
inability to make copies." Appellant's March 29,
2018 Motion and April 6, 2018 motion for extension of time to
file brief both contain a signed certificate of service, but
the certificate of service states that a true and correct
copy of the document was served only on the "Clerk of
the 66th Judicial District Court." The
certificate of service then requests that the Clerk serve the
document electronically on the appellee's attorney of
record, which is improper.
filing party is required to serve a copy of all documents
presented to the Court on all parties to the appeal.
Tex.R.App.P. 9.5(a). Service on a party represented by
counsel must be made on that party's lead counsel.
Id. The documents must contain proof of service.
Id. at 9.5(d). Proof of service may be in the form
of either an acknowledgement of service by the person served
or a certificate of service. Id. A certificate of
service must be signed by the person who made the service,
and must state (1) the date and manner of service, (2) the
name and address of each person served, and (3) if the person
served is a party's attorney, the name of the party
represented by that attorney. Id. at 9.5(e).
expedite this matter, we implement Rule of Appellate
Procedure 2 to suspend Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.5's
proof-of-service requirement for Appellant's March 29,
2018 Motion, his docketing statement, and his April 6, 2018
motion for extension of time to file brief. See id.
at 2. The Clerk of this Court is ordered to immediately
forward a copy of each of these documents to the
appellee's lead counsel. We decline, however, to
implement Rule 2 to suspend Rule 9.5's service
requirements for Appellant's future filings in this
Preliminary Matters section of his March 29, 2018 Motion,
Appellant requests that we implement Rule 2 to suspend Rule
9.5's service requirements for all of his filings in this
appeal. Appellant contends that he is unable to serve the
documents because he is indigent and unable to make or obtain
copies. But Rule 9.5 does not require Appellant to serve
photocopies; rather, Appellant may satisfy Rule 9.5's
requirement that he serve a "copy" of a document
presented to the Court on all parties to the appeal by
serving a handwritten, verbatim reproduction of a document
presented to the Court on all parties to the appeal. See
id. at 9.5(a); cf. Garrett v. Borden, 283
S.W.3d 852, 853-54 (Tex. 2009) (per curiam) (holding that
Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 14.005's
requirement that an inmate, who files grievance claim subject