Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
Appeal from the 305th Judicial District Court Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. JD-17-00477-X.
Justices Bridges, Brown, and Whitehill.
L. BRIDGES JUSTICE.
juvenile, appeals the trial court's order modifying
disposition with the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) commitment
for a period of one year. Appellant's appointed counsel
has filed a motion to withdraw, along with an Anders
brief, asserting the appeal is without merit and there are no
arguable grounds for reversal. See Anders v.
California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). We affirm the trial
for appellant has filed an Anders brief in which he
concludes that, after a thorough review of the record,
appellant's appeal of the order modifying disposition
with TYC is frivolous and without merit. See Anders,
386 U.S. at 744; In re D.E.S., 135 S.W.3d 326, 327
(Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, no pet.); In re
K.D., 127 S.W.3d 66, 67 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.]
2003, no pet.). Counsel has certified that he delivered a
copy of the brief to appellant's parent and has informed
appellant's parent of her right to examine the appellate
record and to file a response. See In re D.D., 279
S.W.3d 849, 850 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2009, pet. denied).
Appellant's parent has not filed a pro se response.
of appeals is not required to address the merits of claims
raised in an Anders brief or a pro se response.
See id. (citing Bledsoe v. State, 178
S.W.3d 824, 827 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005)). Rather, this
Court's duty is to determine whether there are any
arguable grounds and, if so, to remand the case to the trial
court so new counsel may be appointed to address the issues.
independently reviewed the entire record and counsel's
Anders brief. We agree with counsel's assessment
that the appeal is frivolous and without merit. We find
nothing in the record that could arguably support the appeal.
Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's order modifying
disposition with TYC commitment for a period of one year.
appointed counsel has filed a motion to withdraw according to
the procedures set forth in Anders. These procedures
are applicable to an appeal from a trial court's order in
a juvenile case when, as here, appellant's appointed
counsel concludes there are no non-frivolous issues to assert
on appeal. In re D.A.S., 973 S.W.2d 296, 297-99
(Tex. 1998). This Court has not previously addressed the
issue whether, in a juvenile case, appointed counsel should
be permitted to withdraw after filing an Anders
brief. In In re P.M., the Texas Supreme Court held
that the right to counsel in suits seeking the termination of
parental rights extends to "all proceedings in [the
Texas Supreme Court], including the filing of a petition for
review." In re P.M., 520 S.W.3d 24, 27 (Tex.
2016). The court emphasized that courts have a duty to see
that withdrawal of counsel will not result in foreseeable
prejudice to the client and, if a court of appeals allows an
attorney to withdraw, it must provide for the appointment of
new counsel to pursue a petition for review. Id.
Texas courts have held this continued right to counsel
applies equally in juvenile appeals. See, e.g., In re
C.F., No. 03-18-00008-CV, 2018 WL 2750007, at *2 (Tex.
App.-Austin June 8, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.); In re
A.H., 530 S.W.3d 715, 717 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2017, no
pet.); In re A.C., No. 01-15-00932-CV, 2016 WL
1658777, at *1 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 26, 2016,
no pet.) (mem. op.); but see In re J.L.C., No.
10-18-00061-CV, 2018 WL 3763736, at *1 (Tex. App.-Waco Aug.
8, 2018, no pet.) (declining to extend Texas Supreme
Court's decision in In re P.M. to
Anders appeals in juvenile cases). We agree with the
majority of courts of appeals that have addressed this issue,
and we conclude counsel's obligations to appellant have
not yet been discharged. If appellant, after consulting with
counsel, desires to file a petition for review, counsel
should timely file with the Texas Supreme Court "a
petition for review that satisfies the standards for an
Anders brief." See In re P.M., 520
S.W.3d at 27-28. Thus, we deny counsel's motion to
withdraw. We affirm the trial court's judgment.
accordance with this Court's opinion of this date, the
judgment of the trial court is AFFIRMED.