Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler
IN THE INTEREST OF A.E. AND G.R., CHILDREN
FROM THE 321ST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT SMITH COUNTY, TEXAS
consisted of Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.
R.R., acting pro se, filed an interlocutory appeal of the
trial court's denial of his Amended Motion to Dismiss. We
and M.E. are the parents of G.R. On January 9,
2017, the Department of Family and Protective Services (the
"Department") filed an original petition for
protection of A.E. and G.R., for conservatorship, and for
termination of R.R.'s and M.E.'s parental rights.
After the adversary hearing, the trial court appointed the
Department as temporary managing conservator of the child.
Both parents were appointed possessory conservators and
granted supervised visitation.
to the trial court's order, the parties attended
mediation, which took place on December 28, 2017, resulting
in an agreement being reached on all disputed issues. A
mediation settlement agreement ("MSA") was signed
by R.R., M.E., M.E.'s counsel, and the attorney ad litem
for the children. The MSA was filed with the trial court on
December 29, 2017, and contained the parties' agreements
as to the service plans to be completed by both parents.
Further, the parties agreed that if R.R. and M.E. completed
their service plans without any "material
violations," the Department would dismiss its claims
against them and the children would be returned to them.
However, if R.R. and M.E. "materially" violated the
terms of their service plans, then the Department would
appoint non-parents (M.E.'s son and daughter-in-law) that
G.R. was currently placed with as joint managing conservators
of the child and the parents as possessory conservators.
Further, the MSA stated in boldfaced type capital letters
that "THIS AGREEMENT IS NOT SUBJECT TO REVOCATION."
March 20, 2018, R.R. filed an amended motion to dismiss the
case pursuant to the Texas Citizen's Participation Act.
After a hearing, the trial court denied R.R.'s amended
motion to dismiss. Then, the trial court held a hearing on
the Department's motion to enforce the MSA. At the
hearing, R.R. informed the trial court that he was
withdrawing consent to the MSA. After the hearing, the trial
court signed the final order in suit affecting the
parent-child relationship on July 12, 2018. The final order
found that R.R. and M.E. violated the terms of the MSA and
that the trial court "should issue [the final order]
pursuant to the [MSA] filed with the Court." The trial
court ordered that the non-parents be appointed joint
managing conservators of G.R., that R.R. and M.E. be
appointed possessory conservators, that the parents be
ordered to pay child support, and that the parents be granted
supervised visitation with the child. This appeal followed.
Department argues that R.R.'s agreement to the MSA and
his failure to assert any challenges to its entry waived any
alleged complaints against the trial court or the Department.
In his reply brief, R.R. argues that the trial court erred
because the terms of the MSA did not require him to waive
confidentiality in order to submit to a psychological
A mediated settlement agreement is binding on the parties if
(1) provides, in a prominently displayed statement that is in
boldfaced type or capital letters or underlined, that the