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No. 13-0257
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The Court requested full merits briefing on May 20, 2013. The Court issued an opinion resolving the case on January 17, 2014. It then denied rehearing on March 21, 2014 File Closed

In the news...

Tracking 1 article about this case.

January 17, 2014

Opinions in four cases [Jan. 17, 2014]

from SCOTXblog

This article also mentions 6 other cases.

The Court has issued opinions:


January 17, 2014


Per Curiam Opinion PDF


Court of Appeals

Appellate District:1st Court of Appeals
Outcome Below:Affirmed
COA Docket No.:01-12-00584-CV
Opinion Author:Honorable Michael C. Massengale

Trial Court

Trial Court:314th District Court
Trial Judge:Honorable John Franklin Phillips
Trial Docket:2011-03002 J

Entries on SCOTX Orders Lists

Docket Entries

Date Event Outcome  
2014-03-28 Case Stored  
2014-03-21 Corrected judgment issued Issued
2014-03-21 Mandate issued  
2014-03-21 Motion for Rehearing - Disposed   Denied
  This case was waiting for a decision about a pending motion for rehearing between January 29, 2014 and March 21, 2014.  
2014-01-29 Case forwarded to Court
2014-01-29 Motion for Rehearing  
2014-01-17 Opinion issued   Court of Appeals' judgment reversed; remanded to Court of Appeals
2014-01-17 Petition for Review granted under TRAP 59.1
2014-01-17 Court approved judgment sent to attorneys of record Issued
2014-01-17 Petition for Review disposed Petition granted pursuant to TRAP 59.1
  This case was pending on merits briefs between July 11, 2013 and January 17, 2014.  
2013-07-11 Motion for leave to file brief disposed   Filing granted
2013-07-09 Supplemental Brief filed (Respondent)  
2013-07-09 Motion for leave to file brief  
2013-07-09 Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs  
2013-07-08 Reply Brief (Petitioner)  
2013-06-18 Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief filed  
2013-06-18 MET to file reply disposed of   Filing granted
2013-06-14 Brief on the Merits (Respondent)  
2013-06-04 Brief on the Merits (Petitioner)  
2013-05-21 Case Record Filed  
2013-05-20 Brief on the Merits Requested  
2013-05-20 Record Requested in Petition for Review  
2013-05-07 Response to Petition (Respondent)  
2013-04-22 Supreme Court of Texas Requested Response  
2013-04-08 Petition for Review (Parental Termination) (Petitioner)  


Party Counsel Role
D., A.
Ms. Bonnie Joye Fitch
Mr. William B. Connolly
Mr. William Leslie Shireman
E., V.
Mr. David J. Crowley
Other Interested Party
Attorney ad Litem
Mr. Kevin H. George
Other Interested Party
Texas Department of Family & Protective Services
Mr. Garland Deen McInnis
Mr. Vincent Reed Ryan Jr.
Mr. Robert Hazeltine-Shedd
Ms. Sandra D. Hachem

Permissible evidence for parental termination

The facts here, as in most parental-termination cases, are unfortunate. The mother’s age is not listed in the opinion, but her name (like the child’s) is also rendered as initials, suggesting that she, too, might be a minor.

The trial court heard evidence of the mother’s “status as a prostitute” and some previous relationships involving domestic violence. The court of appeals held, however, that the broader record did not support removal for “abuse or neglect” because it did not support an inference that the mother (whose rights were being terminated) had been the cause. It reasoned that “[e]vidence relating to past abuse or neglect of children other than the removed child is not relevant [under the statute].”

Applying its recent decision in IN THE INTEREST OF E.C.R., A CHILD, No. 12-0744, the Texas Supreme Court disagreed and reversed. The Court quoted its language from In re E.C.R. stating that the concept of abuse under the statute is broader and “necessarily includes the risks or threats of the environment in which the child is placed.”