IN THE INTEREST OF AND CHILDREN v. <<

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Court of Appeals of Texas, Fort Worth.

IN THE INTEREST OF V.M., Z.M., AND D.M., CHILDREN

NO. 02-17-00341-CV

Decided: March 23, 2018

PANEL: MEIER, KERR, and PITTMAN, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION 1

Appellant T.E. (Mother) appeals the trial court's order terminating her parental rights to her children V.M., Z.M., and D.M. The trial court found by clear and convincing evidence that termination was appropriate under subsections (D), (E), (O), and (P) of family code section 161.001(b)(1) and that termination was in the children's best interests. See Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001(b)(1)(D), (E), (O), (P), (2) (West Supp. 2017).

Mother's court-appointed appellate attorney has filed a motion to withdraw as counsel and a brief in support of that motion, averring that after diligently reviewing the record, she 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.) (holding that Anders procedures apply in parental termination cases). The brief meets the requirements of Anders by presenting a professional evaluation of the record and demonstrating why there are no arguable grounds to be advanced on appeal. Although given the opportunity, Mother did not file a response. The Department of Family and Protective Services did not file an appellee's brief.

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 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 the appeal is frivolous. We find nothing in the record that might arguably support Mother's appeal. See Bledsoe v. State, 178 S.W.3d 824, 827 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005).

Therefore, we affirm the trial court's order terminating the parent-child relationship between Mother and V.M., Z.M., and D.M. But we deny the motion to withdraw because it does not show “good cause” separate and apart from its accurate determination that there are no arguable grounds for appeal. See In re P.M., 520 S.W.3d 24, 27 (Tex. 2016), petition for cert. filed, (U.S. Feb. 26, 2018) (No. 17-7908); In re C.J., 501 S.W.3d 254, 255 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2016, pets. denied).2

FOOTNOTES

1.   See Tex. R. App. P. 47.4.

2.   “[A]ppointed counsel's obligations can be satisfied by filing a petition for review that satisfies the standards for an Anders brief.” P.M., 520 S.W.3d at 27–28.

BILL MEIER JUSTICE

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