the County Court at Law No. 1 Johnson County, Texas Trial
Court No. J05776
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Scoggins
a juvenile proceeding in which appellant's counsel has
determined there is no arguable issue with merit to raise on
appeal and seeks to withdraw from his appointed
representation. Because there are relatively few reported
cases dealing with this procedure and process, we do not
fault counsel for the failure noted herein but nevertheless,
take this opportunity to provide guidance applicable to this
situation. The Anders  procedure has been made
applicable to juvenile proceedings. In re D.A.S.,
973 S.W.2d 296, 299 (Tex. 1998) (orig. proceeding). The
Anders procedure must, however be modified to fit
the civil procedure applicable to such proceedings.
counsel filed an Anders brief on April 10, 2018.
Because the Court has neither the time nor the resources to
check every brief as it is filed, the Court was unaware that
the brief filed by appellant's counsel was an
Anders brief.  In response to the filing of the brief,
and after the time for filing the State's brief had
passed, the Court sent a notice to the State that its brief
was past due. The State responded and brought to the
Court's attention that appellant's brief was an
Anders brief and no response was due unless and
until appellant had filed a response. Also, a "Motion to
Withdraw as Counsel" was then filed on May 16, 2018
which effectively communicated the same information from
acknowledge that an Anders brief is a concept
borrowed from criminal case law for use in appeals of
juvenile cases which are civil proceedings yet quasi-criminal
in nature. Because of the difference in rules and statutes,
not every aspect of Anders procedures will apply in
this type of case.
the substance of the brief appears adequate, the brief and
the motion to withdraw with its accompanying correspondence
do not provide the Court with an adequate basis to determine
that counsel has complied with the necessary procedures when
filing an Anders brief in an appeal of a juvenile
on counsel's certification included in his motion to
withdraw, the Court is unable to determine if counsel has
fulfilled each of the four educational burdens when filing a
motion to withdraw and accompanying Anders brief.
Meza v. State, 206 S.W.3d 684, 689 n. 23 (Tex. Crim.
App. 2006). As explained in Sowels v. State, 45
S.W.3d 690, 694 (Tex. App. - Waco 2001, no pet.),
overruled in part on other grounds, Meza v.
State, 206 S.W.3d 684, 689 (Tex. Crim. App. 2006), so
that the Court may comply with its duties, the record must be
sufficient to support a determination that:
1. counsel has provided appellant with a copy of the motion
to withdraw and the brief in support of the motion;
2. counsel has informed appellant of the right to file a
response to the motion to withdraw;
3. counsel has informed appellant of the right to review the
record in making the response; and
4. counsel has informed appellant of the right to file a
petition for review with the Texas Supreme Court (rather than
a petition for discretionary review with the Court of
Criminal Appeals as in criminal cases).
See Meza, 206 S.W.3d at 689 n. 23. These educational
burdens may be accomplished by providing the Court with a
copy of the actual communication of this information to
appellant (while avoiding disclosure of privileged
information) or a separate certification. See
Sowels, 45 S.W.3d at 693- 694.
proceeding, counsel elected to use the certification; but it
only addresses educational burdens 1 and 2. Thus,
counsel's duty to comply with educational burdens 3 and 4
remains unsatisfied. We cannot commence the running of time
for appellant to file a response until appellant has been
advised of the right to review the ...