Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler
THE STATE OF TEXAS FOR THE BEST INTEREST AND PROTECTION OF S.S.
from the County Court at Law of Cherokee County, Texas (Tr.
Ct. No. 42, 249)
consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J. and Neeley, J.
appeals from the trial court's order renewing an order
for extended inpatient mental health services, and an order
authorizing the Texas Department of State Health Services
(the Department) to administer psychoactive medication. Her
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.
February 2, 2018, an application for court ordered extended
mental health services was filed requesting the trial court
to commit S.S. to the Rusk State Hospital (the Hospital) for
a period not to exceed twelve months. At the time the
application was filed, S.S. was a patient at the hospital.
The application was supported by two physician's
certificates of medical examination for mental illness, filed
by R.H. Rodriguez, M.D. and Andrey Tsyss, D.O. Both
physicians diagnosed S.S. with schizoaffective disorder
bipolar type, and stated that she was suffering severe and
abnormal mental, emotional or physical distress, was
experiencing substantial mental or physical deterioration of
her ability to function independently, and was unable to make
a rational and informed decision as to whether or not to
submit to treatment. Both physicians also stated that the
patient's condition was expected to continue for more
than ninety days.
Rodriguez also filed an application for an order to
administer psychoactive medication to S.S., stating that S.S.
verbally or by other indication, refused to take the
medication voluntarily. He believed that S.S. lacked the
capacity to make a decision regarding administration of
psychoactive medication, that the medication was in the
proper course of treatment, that the benefits of the
psychoactive medication outweighed the risks, and that
medications were in S.S.'s best interest.
trial court held a hearing on the applications. After
considering the request for renewal and the certificates, the
trial court found that S.S. was mentally ill and that as a
result of that mental illness, was likely to cause serious
harm to self or others, or will, if not treated, continue to
experience deterioration of her ability to function
independently; is unable to make a rational and informed
choice as to whether or not to submit to treatment; and that
S.S.'s condition is expected to continue for more than
ninety days. Further, the trial court found that S.S.
received court ordered inpatient mental health services for
at least sixty consecutive days within the twelve months
preceding the hearing. Thus, the trial court granted the
application for renewal of an order for extended mental
health services and committed S.S. as an inpatient to the
Hospital for a period not to exceed twelve months.
after considering all of the evidence, including the
application and the expert testimony, the trial court found
that the allegations in the application for an order
authorizing administration of psychoactive medication were
true and correct and supported by clear and convincing
evidence. The court found that treatment with the proposed
medication was in S.S.'s best interest and that S.S.
lacked the capacity to make a decision regarding
administration of the medication. The trial court authorized
the Department to administer psychoactive medications to S.S.
This appeal followed.
pursuant to Anders v. California
counsel filed a brief in compliance with Anders and
Gainous, stating that he 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. See In re L.E.H.,
228 S.W.3d 219, 220 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 2007, no pet.)
(holding that Anders procedure is appropriate in
mental health commitment cases). From our review of
counsel's brief, it is apparent that counsel is well
acquainted with the facts in this case. In compliance with
Anders, Gainous, and High v.
State, 573 S.W.2d 807, 812 (Tex. Crim. App. 1978),
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.).
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 S.S.'s counsel's brief. We
find nothing in the record that might arguably support the
required, S.S.'s counsel has moved for leave to withdraw.
See Anders, 386 U.S. at 744, 87 S.Ct. at 1400. We
agree with S.S.'s counsel that the appeal is wholly
frivolous. See Taylor v. Tex. Dep't of Protective and
Regulatory Servs., 160 S.W.3d 641, 646-47 (Tex.
App.-Austin 2005, pet. denied). Accordingly, we
grant his ...