Court of Appeals of Texas, Ninth District, Beaumont
IN THE INTEREST OF T.R.H. JR.
Submitted on December 19, 2017
Appeal from the 75th District Court Liberty County, Texas
Trial Cause No. CV0901264
Kreger, Horton, and Johnson, JJ.
CHARLES KREGER Justice
the paternal grandmother of the minor child T.R.H. Jr.,
appeals from the trial court's order denying her motion
to modify/intervene in a suit affecting the parent-child
relationship, as well as the trial court's order of
dismissal on the grounds that she lacks standing to initiate
or intervene in such a lawsuit. We reverse and remand to the
has an extensive history of involvement in the litigation
regarding T.R.H. Jr. It began in January 2009, when the
child's mother ("Mother") initiated a Suit
Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship ("SAPCR")
and for paternity against the child's father
("Father"). T.R.H. Jr. was born in April 2008, and
the parents were never married. After a hearing in August
2009, the trial court signed an order in the SAPCR on June
16, 2010, naming Mother and Father as joint managing
conservators of T.R.H. Jr., with Mother as primary. Despite
the fact that D.H. was not a party to the original SAPCR and
did not intervene in the suit, the trial court and parties
included the following provisions in the final order, signed
by the trial court:
14. Special Provision Regarding Grandmother
Visitation. [D.H.], the mother of [Father], shall have a
two (2) week visitation period annually provided that she
give written notice to [Mother] on or before January 31 of
15. Special Provision Regarding Grandmother's Right
of First Refusal. [D.H.], the mother of [Father], shall
have the right of first refusal should [Mother] desire to
place the child in a daycare facility.
Mother and Father signed and stipulated their agreement to
September 2010, Mother sought to modify the SAPCR order of
June 16, 2010. D.H. was named as a joint-petitioner with
Mother. Shortly thereafter, D.H. filed a petition seeking a
writ of attachment for T.R.H. Jr. seeking to enforce her
right of visitation with the child as provided in the order.
As a result, the trial court signed an order on October 12,
2010, ordering Mother to comply with the order of June 16,
2010, and allow D.H. visitation with T.R.H. Jr., expressly
ordering Mother to relinquish possession of the child to D.H.
on specific dates.
December 2015, D.H. filed a motion to grant visitation, which
was later amended to a motion to modify and grant visitation.
Mother then filed a motion to dismiss for lack of standing. A
review of the record reveals that, despite recognizing that
the court's order granted rights of possession/visitation
with T.R.H. Jr. to D.H., the trial court did not view D.H. as
a party affected by a prior order. Instead, the trial court
treated the order as void. As a result, D.H. was never
allowed to present any evidence to the court, and the trial
court sustained the challenge to her standing.
thereafter, Mother filed her own motion to modify the order
of June 16, 2010, to remove D.H.'s right to
possession/visitation with T.R.H. Jr., and D.H. was served
with citation as part of that modification suit. D.H. then
filed a motion seeking reconsideration of her own motions.
Without allowing D.H. to present any evidence, the trial
court denied her motions. The trial court once again found
that D.H. had no standing. The trial court held a bench trial
on November 30, 2016, without including D.H. as a party or
allowing her to participate, and entered an order modifying
the prior order and removing D.H.'s rights to
possession/visitation. D.H. timely filed her Notice of