IN THE INTEREST OF C.P. AND B.P., CHILDREN
the 12th District Court Madison County, Texas Trial Court No.
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Neill
E. NEILL Justice
1, 2019, this Court rendered an Order abating the appeal to
the trial court for a determination: (1) whether Joshua
Pursley desires to continue the appeal; and (2) whether
Joshua Pursley should be appointed new counsel on appeal.
Pursley did not appear at the abatement hearing. Carrie M.
Kerley, Pursley's trial counsel, represented to the trial
court at the hearing that she notified Pursley of the hearing
by text message, and that she had previously had contact with
Pursley at that same phone number. Kerley further represented
to the trial court that she notified Pursley in a detailed
text message that she had filed a motion to withdraw as his
counsel and that a hearing had been set to determine whether
Pursley wanted to continue the appeal. Kerley stated in the
If you want to continue the appeal of the trial court's
decision, you must appear on Thursday May 9th,
2019, at 10:00 a.m. at 101 West Main Street, Room 216,
Madisonville, Texas 77864. If you fail to appear, your appeal
will likely be dismissed.
also provided the district clerk with the phone number, and
the district clerk attempted to contact Pursley. A CASA
representative was present at the hearing and stated that she
contacted Pursley's mother. Pursley's mother provided
the CASA representative with a phone number for her son, and
it was the same phone number that Kerley provided to the
trial court. Kerley gave the trial court Pursley's last
trial court entered an order on May 9, 2019, and permitted
Carrie M. McKerley to withdraw as counsel of record for
Joshua Pursley. The trial court found that Joshua Pursley was
notified of the motion for withdrawal and the hearing on the
motion, but failed to appear. The trial court further found
that Joshua Pursley "has no interest in proceeding with
Court reinstated the appeal on May 21, 2019 and notified
Pursley that his appeal is subject to dismissal for want of
prosecution. See Tex. R. App. P. 42.3 (b). This
Court further informed Pursley that the Court will dismiss
this appeal unless, within 21 days from the date of the
letter, a response is filed showing Pursley desired to
continue his appeal. This Court sent the notice to Pursley at
his last known address that was provided by counsel at the
abatement hearing and also to another address on file with
the Court. Those are the only two addresses for Pursley that
have been provided to this Court. Pursley did not file a
this appeal is dismissed for want of prosecution.
See Tex. R. App. P. 42.3 (b).
Justice Davis concurring with a note [*]
GRAY, Chief Justice
cannot join the Court in its disposition of this proceeding.
The appeal should never have been filed. But the trial
court should never have entered the judgment that it did
based on the record before it. The record is filled with zero
evidence to support the findings relating to the predicate
grounds upon which it based the termination of Pursley's
parental rights. By zero evidence, I mean the traditional
"no evidence" level of evidence, not the current
iteration of "legally insufficient" evidence.
Moreover, if we were to conduct an Anders review of
the record, we would have to abate it for the appointment of
new counsel because there are numerous meritorious issues for
presentation on ...