IN THE INTEREST OF A.L.F. AND M.L.F., CHILDREN
the 74th District Court McLennan County, Texas Trial Court
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, [*] and Justice Neill
GRAY, CHIEF JUSTICE
G. and Andre F. appeal from a judgment that terminated the
parent-child relationship between them and their children,
A.L.F. and M.L.F. Brittney and Andre complain that the trial
court abused its discretion by refusing to allow testimony by
Brittney relating to alleged drug use by the individual with
whom the children were placed and who intended to adopt the
children after the termination. Because we find that the issue
was not properly preserved by either party, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
direct examination by her trial counsel, Brittney was asked
about marijuana use by Erica, the individual with whom the
children had been placed by the Department of Family and
Protective Services. Brittney testified about her
observations of Erica rolling cigars with marijuana in them
and smoking marijuana on multiple occasions before and during
the pendency of the proceedings without objection. This
continued until Brittney stopped going over to Erica's
residence more than four months prior to the final trial.
During this questioning, the following exchange led up to the
objection at issue in this appeal:
COUNSEL FOR BRITTNEY: And did you try to tell [the
caseworker] about the marijuana before or after that
BRITTNEY: I mean, Andre told them before this case even
started. And then when I tell them, she never, like, picked
up the phone or nothing. So I just left it alone.
COUNSEL FOR BRITTNEY: If she didn't pick up the phone,
how did you tell her?
STATE: Your Honor, I'm going to object to this line of
BRITTNEY: I never did tell her-
TRIAL COURT: Ma'am, when there's an objection,
you've got to stop talking. Okay?
STATE: -as being irrelevant to the matters.
parties then had a discussion regarding why Erica's drug
use had not been mentioned to the trial court earlier in the
proceedings. The trial court ultimately ruled that she would
allow Brittney's trial counsel to ask her why she never
told the caseworker but would otherwise sustain the
State's objection. Brittney was never asked why she did
not tell the caseworker and was asked no further questions
about Erica's alleged marijuana use at that time. No
offer of proof was made as to the substance of the testimony
that would have been presented.
time later, Brittney's trial counsel asked her if she had
spoken to the caseworker about an "XO" pill.
Brittney said that she had told the caseworker a few days
before the mediation which took place between the parties.
The trial court interrupted the questioning to inquire
whether the allegation of drug use by Erica had been
mentioned at the mediation. In response to the trial court,
Brittney's trial counsel stated that he had told the
caseworker after the mediation and could recall her to
testify about their discussion later. The trial court
verified that the allegations of illegal drug use by Erica
were known to everyone at the mediation, which had taken
place less than a week prior to the first day of the final
trial in this proceeding. No ...