Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
the 175th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2017CI23282 Honorable Catherine Torres-Stahl, Judge
Sitting: Rebeca C. Martinez, Justice Beth Watkins, Justice
Liza A. Rodriguez, Justice.
C. Martinez, Justice.
found M.A.C. to be a sexually violent predator, and the trial
court rendered a final judgment with an order of civil
commitment. See Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann.
§§ 841.003, 841.081. M.A.C. now appeals.
court-appointed attorney filed a brief containing a
professional evaluation of the record in accordance with
Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), and a
motion to withdraw. See In re Commitment of Riggs,
No. 06-18-00073-CV, 2019 WL 1560688, at *1 (Tex. App.-
Texarkana Apr. 11, 2019, no pet. h.) (recognizing
Anders procedures apply in civil commitment cases
under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code);
cf. In re P.M., 520 S.W.3d 24, 27. n.10 (Tex. 2016)
(recognizing Anders procedures apply in parental
termination cases, even though Anders concerned a
criminal defendant's constitutional right to counsel);
Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 841.005 (requiring
the Office of State Counsel for Offenders to represent
indigent persons subject to civil commitment proceedings
under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, unless
the trial court appoints other counsel). In her brief,
counsel discusses several potential appellate issues,
including error related to the jury charge, but concludes
that none have merit and that this appeal is frivolous. The
brief meets the requirements of Anders. See
Anders, 386 U.S. 738, 744; see also High v.
State, 573 S.W.2d 807, 813 (Tex. Crim. App. [Panel Op.]
1978); Gainous v. State, 436 S.W.2d 137, 137-38
(Tex. Crim. App. 1969). As required, counsel provided M.A.C.
with a copy of the brief, motion to withdraw, and the
appellate record and informed him of the right to file his
own pro se brief. See Kelly v. State, 436
S.W.3d 313, 319 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014); see also Nichols
v. State, 954 S.W.2d 83, 85-86 (Tex. App.-San Antonio
1997, no pet.); Bruns v. State, 924 S.W.2d 176, 177
n.1 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1996, no pet.). M.A.C. did not
file a pro se brief, and the State filed a waiver of
its right to file a brief.
determine that the procedural requirements of Anders
have been satisfied, we engage in an independent review of
the briefs and the record to determine whether we agree with
counsel's conclusion that the appeal is wholly frivolous,
in which case we issue an opinion stating there is no
reversible error, or we conclude that arguable grounds for
appeal exist, in which case we remand the cause to the trial
court. Bledsoe v. State, 178 S.W.3d 824, 826-27
(Tex. Crim. App. 2005); Nichols, 954 S.W.2d at 86.
If we determine that a nonfrivolous ground for appeal exists,
we must grant counsel's motion to withdraw, abate the
appeal, and remand the case to the trial court for
appointment of new counsel. See Nichols, 954 S.W.2d
at 86 (noting we cannot order counsel to brief and argue an
appeal that counsel considers frivolous). The new attorney is
then required to file a brief raising the nonfrivolous ground
we have identified, as well as any additional grounds that
the attorney discovers. Bledsoe, 178 S.W.3d at 827;
Stafford v. State, 813 S.W.2d 503, 511 (Tex. Crim.
App. 1991). Only after M.A.C.'s new counsel has briefed
the issues on appeal will we address the merits of the
reviewing the briefs and the record, we conclude that the
appeal is not wholly frivolous and there are arguable
ground(s) for appeal, including whether the trial court erred
in denying M.A.C.'s request for a jury instruction that
the jury could render a verdict in M.A.C.'s favor by a
vote of 10-2. See In re Commitment of Jones, 571
S.W.3d 880, 889-92 (Tex. App.- Fort Worth 2019, pet. filed)
(determining the trial court committed reversible error by
denying a request for a 10-2 jury instruction in a civil
commitment case under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and
Safety Code, even though the jury delivered a unanimous
verdict in favor of commitment). We therefore grant
counsel's motion to withdraw, abate the appeal, and
remand the cause to the trial court. The trial court shall,
within thirty days from the date of our opinion and ...