No. 11-17-00014-CV.


Court of Appeals of Texas, Eleventh District, Eastland.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Charles E. Rice , for Mark Mendez.

Patrick Howard , for In the interest of F.A., a child, Ad Litem.

Tiffani N. Helms , Mark T. Zuniga , for Department of Family & Protective Services, Appellee.

Erica E. Hall , for Erica Acosta, Appellant.

Panel consists of: Wright, C.J., Willson, J., and Bailey, J.



This is an appeal from an order in which the trial court terminated the parental rights of the mother and the father of F.A. The mother filed a notice of appeal. We dismiss the appeal.

The mother's court-appointed counsel has filed a motion to withdraw and a supporting brief in which she professionally and conscientiously examines the record and applicable law and concludes that the appeal is frivolous. The brief meets the requirements of Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), by presenting a professional evaluation of the record demonstrating why there are no arguable grounds to be advanced. See In re Schulman, 252 S.W.3d 403, 406-08 (Tex. Crim. App. 2008); High v. State, 573 S.W.2d 807, 812 (Tex. Crim. App. [Panel Op.] 1978). In light of a recent holding by the Texas Supreme Court, however, an Anders motion to withdraw "may be premature" if filed in the court of appeals under the circumstances presented in this case. See In re P.M., No. 15-0171, 2016 WL 1274748, at *3 (Tex. Apr. 1, 2016). The court in P.M. stated that "appointed counsel's obligations can be satisfied by filing a petition for review that satisfies the standards for an Anders brief." Id.

Appellant's counsel provided Appellant with a copy of the brief, the motion to withdraw, and an explanatory letter. Counsel also informed Appellant of her right to review the record and file a pro se response to counsel's brief. In compliance with Kelly v. State, 436 S.W.3d 313, 318-20 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014), counsel provided Appellant with a copy of the appellate record. We conclude that Appellant's counsel has satisfied her duties under Anders, Schulman, and Kelly.

We note that Appellant filed a pro se response to counsel's Anders brief, and we have reviewed that response. Following the procedures outlined in Anders and Schulman, we have independently reviewed the record in this cause, and we agree that the appeal is without merit and should be dismissed. See Schulman, 252 S.W.3d at 409. However, in light of P.M., we deny the motion to withdraw that was filed by Appellant's court-appointed counsel. See P.M., 2016 WL 1274748, at *3.

Counsel's motion to withdraw is denied, and the appeal is dismissed.


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