I. Case Law Update

Each year, DFPS produces a case law update of select child protection cases. The 2019 Termination Case Law Update was prepared by the DFPS Appellate Unit: Michael D. Becker, Leslie Capace. Brenda L. Kinsler, Jerry L. Reyes, Rebecca L. Safavi, Eric T. Tai, and Mark T. Zuniga.

The 2019 update includes the following cases:

COMMENCEMENT OF TRIAL

In re R.J., 568 S.W.3d 734 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2019, no pet.).

EVIDENCE

In re M.M. and C.M., No. 14-18-00881-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] March 28, 2019, no pet.) (mem. op.). (TRE 605)

T.W. v. Tex. Dep't. of Family and Protective Servs., No. 03-18-00347-CV (Tex. App—Austin Aug. 29, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.). (TRE 803(8))

JURISDICTION

In re S.H., No. 13-18-00240-CV (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi Sept. 27, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.).

In re E.N., K.N., and M.N., No. 06-18-00019-CV (Tex. App.—Texarkana Jul. 12, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.).

In re Tex. Dep't of Family and Protective Servs., Nos. 01-18-00717-CV, 01-18-00718-CV, 01-18, 00719-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 2, 2018, no pet.). (Adversary Hearing timeline not jurisdictional).

JURY TRIAL

In re A.L.M.-F., No. 17-0603, 62 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 910, 2019 Tex. LEXIS 426 (May 3, 2019). (No right to jury trial on timely requested De Novo Hearing)

PRE-TRIAL MATTERS

Appointment of Counsel

In re A.R., No. 07-18-00350-CV (Tex. App.—Amarillo Jan. 28, 2019, no pet.) (mem. op.). (Determination of indigence).

In re B.C., No. 13-18-00440-CV, (Tex. App—Corpus Christi-Edinburg Jan. 28, 2019, pet. filed) (mem. op.). (Court Responsibility to Inquire Further).

In re A.J., 559 S.W.3d 713 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2018, no pet.). (Admonishment required).

Bench Warrant and Motion to Continue

In re L.N.C. and K.N.M., 573 S.W.3d 309 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2019, no pet.).

STANDING

In re H.S., 550 S.W.3d 151 (Tex. 2018). (A nonparent has “actual care, control, and possession of the child” under section 102.003(a)(9) if, for the requisite six-month time period, if the nonparent served in a parent-like role by (1) sharing a principle residence with the child, (2) providing for the child's daily physical and psychological needs, and (3) exercising guidance, governance, and direction similar to that typically exercised on a day-to-day basis by parents with their children. Accordingly, the Court concluded, the Family Code recognizes that a narrow class of nonparents, who have served in a parent-like role to a child over a lengthy period, may come to court and seek to preserve that relationship over a parent's objections.

In re Schick, No. 04-18-00839-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio Dec. 19, 2018, orig. proceeding) (mem. op.); In re A.G., No. 05-18-00725-CV (Tex. App.—Dallas Dec. 12, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.).

TERMINATION GROUNDS

TFC § 161.001(b)(1)(C)

In re A.R., A.R. and A.R., No. 02-18-00311-CV (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Mar. 14, 2019, no pet. h.) (mem. op.).

TFC § 161.001(b)(1)(E)

Lack of concern: In re Z.J.B., No. 14-18-00759-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Jan. 29, 2019, pet. denied) (mem. op.).

Unwillingness to seek prenatal care: In re Z.Q.N., No. 14-17-00434-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 21, 2019, no pet. h.) (mem. op.).

Not guilty conviction not dispositive: In re A.C.S. and T.R.L., Children, No. 14-18-00890-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Mar. 21, 2019, no pet. h.) (mem. op.).

TFC § 161.001(b)(1)(L)

In re S.G. and D.D.-G.P., No. 01-18-00728-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 2, 2019, pet. filed) (mem. op.).

TFC § 161.001(b)(1)(N)

No Reasonable Efforts: In re M.A.S.L. and K.J.L., No. 04-18-00496-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio Dec. 19, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.).

Reasonable Efforts: In re K.C., No. 07-18-00282-CV (Tex. App.—Amarillo Dec. 21, 2018, pet. denied) (mem. op.)

TFC § 161.001(b)(1)(Q)

In re D.L.A. Jr., D.L.A.R., B.B.R., B.L.A.R., and J.R., No. 04-18-00182-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio Sept. 18, 2018, pet. denied) (mem. op.); Also, In re I.G., No. 13-18-00114-CV (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi June 21, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.).

TFC § 161.001(b)(1)(R)

In re A.M.S., No. 04-18-00650-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio Jan. 9, 2019, no pet.) (mem. op.).

TFC § 161.001(d)

In re N.W.L.T. and J.A.C., No. 14-18-00497-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Nov. 29, 2018, pet. denied) (mem. op.). (Affirmative defense must be shown for each failed task).

In re B.L.H., No. 14-18-00087-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Jul. 12, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op).

In re L.L.N.-P., No. 04-18-00380-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio Nov. 21, 2018, pet. denied) (mem. op.). (Father cannot use incarceration as excuse)

BEST INTEREST – HOLLEY FACTORS

Desires of the Child

In re F.M.E.A.F., A.A.F.H., and A.J.F.H., 572 S.W.3d 716 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2019, no pet. h.). (Sufficient maturity).

In re J.T.T.J., K.A.T., and R.D.R.T., No. 13-18-00319-CV (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi Nov. 1, 2018, pet. denied) (mem. op.). (Children desire to stay together)

Emotional and Physical Needs and Emotional and Physical Danger

In re J.D.G., 570 S.W.3d 839 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2018, pet. denied). (Child's improvement while in care)

Parent Abilities

In re C.W., D.T., J.T., and A.T., No. 14-18-00427-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Nov. 13, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.).

Other Considerations

In re J.I.T., No. 01-17-00988-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] June 27, 2018, pet. denied) (mem. op).

In re T.R. and P.H., No. 01-18-00834-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 14, 2019, pet. dism'd w.o.j.) (mem. op.).

In re A.C., J.Y., J.Y Jr., L.B., and E.B., 560 S.W.3d 624 (Tex. 2018).

CONSERVATORSHIP

In re C.L.J.S., No. 01-18-00512-CV (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Nov. 29, 2018, no pet.)

POST-TRIAL MATTERS

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

In re B.H., No. 05-18-00291-CV (Tex. App.—Dallas Sept. 18, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.).

In re G.N.H., No. 04-18-00154-CV (Tex. App.—San Antonio Nov. 14, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.).

In re J.A.B., 562 S.W.3d 726 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2018, pet. denied).

Appellate

In re J.M., No. 12-18-00157-CV (Tex. App.—Tyler Oct. 10, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.)

In re Z.M.R. and Z.D.B., 562 S.W.3d 783 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2018, no pet.).

In re N.G., No. 18-0508 (Tex. 2019). (Sufficient evidence on best interest)

INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT

In re D.E.D.L., 568 S.W.3d 261 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2019, no pet.). (Qualified Expert Witness)

In re A.M., 570 S.W.3d 860 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2018, no pet.). (Section 1912 findings not required in a temporary order).

UCCJEA

In re T.M.E., A.J.E., and R.J.E., 565 S.W. 3d 383 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2018, no pet.);

You can link to the 2019 DFPS case law update here:

http://texaschildrenscommission.gov/media/84121/2019-case-law-update-bench-book.pdf