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Defendant's Attorney: Joseph W. Spence
Fort Worth, Texas – Family Law lawyer represented Appellant appeals the appealing termination of his parental rights.
This is an ultra-accelerated appeal1 in which Appellant C.B. (Father) appeals the
termination of his parental rights to his four sons—Tom,2 Harry, James, and
George—following a bench trial. Father’s court-appointed appellate counsel filed an
amended Anders brief averring that after diligently reviewing the record, he believes
that the appeal is frivolous. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 744–45, 87 S. Ct.
1396, 1400 (1967); see also In re K.M., 98 S.W.3d 774, 776–77 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth
2003, no pet.) (reasoning that Anders procedures apply in noncriminal appeals when
appointment of counsel is mandated by statute). The brief meets the requirements of
Anders by presenting a professional evaluation of the record and by demonstrating
why there are no arguable grounds to be advanced on appeal. Although given the
opportunity, Father did not file a response. The Department of Family and
Protective Services filed a letter stating that because Father had not pointed to any
arguable grounds for relief, the Department would not reply to the Anders brief filed
by Father’s counsel.
As the reviewing appellate court, we must independently examine the record to
decide whether an attorney is correct in determining that the appeal is frivolous. See
See Tex. R. Jud. Admin. 6.2(a) (requiring appellate court to dispose of appeal
from a judgment terminating parental rights, so far as reasonably possible, within 180
days after notice of appeal is filed).
See Tex. R. App. P. 9.8(b)(2) (requiring court to use aliases to refer to minors in
an appeal from a judgment terminating parental rights). All four children are referred
to using aliases.
Stafford v. State, 813 S.W.2d 503, 511 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991); In re K.R.C., 346 S.W.3d
618, 619 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2009, no pet.). Having carefully reviewed the record
and the Anders brief, we agree that Father’s appeal is frivolous. We find nothing in
the record that might arguably support Father’s appeal. See Bledsoe v. State, 178 S.W.3d
824, 827 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment terminating
Father’s parental rights to Tom, Harry, James, and George.
Outcome: Father’s counsel remains appointed in this case through proceedings in the
Texas Supreme Court unless otherwise relieved from his duties for good cause in
accordance with Family Code Section 107.016(2)(C).