|Texarkana Court of Appeals Links
Tex. App. - [6th Dist.]
MEMBERSHIP OF THIS COURT
Chief Justice Josh R. Morriss, III - Place 1
Prior to becoming Chief Justice of the Sixth District Court of Appeals, Josh Morriss had
engaged in a varied legal practice, primarily involving commercial, financial, and real estate
practice, as well as significant practice management duties, including technology
management. He was appointed Chief Justice in June 2002 by Governor Rick Perry and won
election in November 2002's General Election. In 2004, he was re-elected without opposition.
Chief Justice Morriss has served the Texas Association of Bank Counsel as Director, Vice
President, and President. When in law school at the University of Texas at Austin, Morriss
received the American Jurisprudence Award for the top grade in legal research and writing
and served as a member and director of the Legal Research Board, a student organization
providing legal research and writing services to practicing attorneys. Prior to law school, he
had earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration
degrees from Southern Methodist University in finance and management science.
Between 1986 and 2002, he served as Manager of Central Counting and sometimes
Presiding Judge for Bowie County, Texas elections. In 2001, he served on, and as Vice Chair
of, the Bowie County Citizens Redistricting Advisory Committee. He has been a Rotarian since
1976 and has served his community in various other ways during that time.
Believing in the communicating ability of drama, Morriss has, since 1995, portrayed President
George Washington in the historically accurate "A Standing Miracle" which he researched
and wrote and has been presenting area-wide. He is also one of the founding members of
Texarkana Repertory Company, and has served on its Board of Directors and in various
Morriss is also a founding member of Fellowship Bible Church of Texarkana, in which he and
his wife have actively participated since its 1983 founding and in which he has served in
various leadership capacities, including music and worship.
Still married to his "first wife," Diana, after more than 33 years, Morriss has three daughters,
three grandsons, a granddaughter, a fifth grandchild on the way, two sons-in-law, and a son-
Justice Bailey C. Moseley - Place 2
Bailey C. Moseley, is a fifth-generation East Texan and a native of Marshall. He is a graduate
of Marshall High School, received a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University
of Texas at Austin, and was awarded a Juris Doctor Degree from The Bates College of Law at
the University of Houston. While in law school, Moseley was the President of his Senior Class
and Chief Justice of the Honors Court.
Upon graduation from law school, he returned to Marshall and began his legal career as an
Assistant Criminal District Attorney. In 1971, he entered into a partnership with his brother,
Sam Moseley; this continued until 1986, when his brother was appointed Southwest Regional
Administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Moseley then
associated with Al Davis and they practiced together as Moseley and Davis, Associates, until
1992. From 1992 until taking the bench in January, 2007, Moseley was a sole practitioner,
having a heavy emphasis in his practice on commercial and real estate litigation.
He has served as President of the Harrison County Bar Association and as its Continuing
Legal Education (CLE) chairman for a number of years. He has frequently acted as an
instructor for CLE programs sponsored by the Texas State Bar, the Dallas Bar Association,
and other organizations. He serves as a member of the governing Council of the Real Estate,
Probate, and Trust Law Section of the State Bar, where he is Vice-Chair of the Legislative
Action Committee. Formerly, Moseley was a member of the State Bar’s Committee on
Admissions and was a director of the Texas College of Real Estate Attorneys.
Moseley is 62 years old and has been married since 1966 to another Marshall native, Kay
Saxon Moseley; they have two grown and married children (Chris and Meredith) and one
Locally, he is a leader in his church (Cypress Valley Bible Church), having served as
Chairman of its governing board; he was one of the founders of the Marshall Soccer
Association for the youth of his city and aided in the foundation of the local chapter of Habitat
for Humanity. The citizens of the City of Marshall elected him a member of the charter revision
commission and he has served Marshall as a Trustee of the Public Library Board, as well as a
Planning and Zoning Commissioner, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the
Cypress Valley Navigation District.
Justice Jack Carter - Place 3
Jack Carter was elected to the position of Justice, 6th Court of Appeals in 2002 and took
office January 1, 2003. Prior to his election, Justice Carter served almost 22 years as the
District Judge of the Fifth Judicial District Court in Bowie and Cass Counties.
Justice Carter is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. His legal career began
in 1967 as a practicing attorney in Texarkana and he continued until 1981 when he became
District Judge. During his law practice, Justice Carter was certified by the State Bar of Texas
as a specialist in civil trial law. He has attended numerous judicial studies including the
National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Justice Carter was one of the authors of a
handbook for district judges entitled "Texas Intermediate Sanctions Bench Manual." He has
spoken at many legal/judicial functions.
During his tenure as District Judge, Justice Carter was instrumental in the formation of the
Northeast Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). This volunteer program
provides advocates in court for children removed from abusive homes. Justice Carter
developed the seminar for divorcing parents in Bowie and Cass Counties (Let's Talk About
Kids - Seminar on D.I.V.O.R.C.E. - The Children's Perspective).
Justice Carter has been active in Central Christian Church serving as Board Moderator. He
has been on advisory boards for the YWCA Kids's Exchange, Texarkana Independent School
District Community Board, Federal Correctional Institute Community Board, and Caddo Area
Council (Boy Scouts).
Justice Carter is married to Joan Varley Carter and they have three grown children and four
Overview of the Court - Sixth Court of Appeals
Bi-State Justice Building
The Sixth Court of Civil Appeals was established by the Texas Legislature in 1907, and began
operations in August of that year when Governor Tom Campbell appointed Samuel Priest
Wilson, Richard B. Levy, and William Hodges as the first justices of the Court. The Court's
offices were located in the old city hall building until offices were provided in the "new"
municipal building. In 1985, the Court's offices were moved to the new Bi-State Justice
Building in downtown Texarkana.
The Court's first official order designated Eli T. Rosborough of Marshall as clerk and Mary
DeLoach of Texarkana as stenographer. The originally designated district was comprised of
Bowie, Cass, Camp, Cherokee, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris,
Marion, Panola, and Red River Counties. The Sixth Appellate District now contains nineteen
counties: Bowie, Camp, Cass, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Hunt,
Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Red River, Rusk, Titus, Upshur, and Wood.
The first case called was L. Y. Jesse v. H.S. Deshong from Lamar County.
After their appointments, all three justices were elected to their respective positions in 1908.
The three justices drew lots for the duration of their initial terms. Beginning in 1910, each of
the three initial justices were re-elected in turn.
In its first 23 years, the Court disposed of 3,884 cases and ruled on 4,966 motions, and had
an average of 170 cases filed per year.
The Sixth Court was granted jurisdiction in criminal appeals in 1981, and its name was
changed to Court of Appeals.
Twenty-three judges have served on the Court since its inception.
Contact Information for the Sixth Court of Appeals in Texarkana
* Sixth Court of Appeals
100 N. State Line Ave., Ste. 20
Texarkana, Texas 75501
* SIXTH COURT OF APPEALS
100 N STATE LINE AVE
TEXARKANA TX 75501
Contact By Telephone
* Telephone: (903) 798-3046
Fax: (903) 798-3034
Hours of Operation
* Monday - Friday ( 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
* Clerk of the Court: Debbie Autrey
Email the Clerk
* Deputy Clerk for Civil Cases: Kim Robinson
* Deputy Clerk for Criminal Cases: Molly Pate
* Senior Staff Attorney: Stacy Stanley
Driving Directions to Bi-State Justice Building
* From I-30: Turn off onto the State Line Avenue Exit, heading South. Continue down State
Line until you reach downtown Texarkana. Go around the Post Office, which is also the
Federal Courthouse, and continue down State Line Avenue until you reach Broad Street.
* The Bi-State Justice Building is located at the intersection of State Line Avenue and Broad
Street. The Court is located on the second floor of the Bi-State Justice Building.
SOURCE: Info from various pages of the Court's official webpage (click link) 7/2/09
SNIPPETS FROM OPINIONS FROM 6TH COURT OF
APPEALS RELEVANT TO APPEALS PROCESS
This Court has jurisdiction only over appeals from final decisions of trial courts and
from interlocutory orders as provided by statute. Lehmann v. Har-Con Corp., 39 S.W.3d
191, 195 (Tex. 2001); see Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 51.014 (West 2008). “[A]
judgment issued without a conventional trial is final for purposes of appeal if and only if
either it actually disposes of all claims and parties then before the court, regardless of
its language, or it states with unmistakable clarity that it is a final judgment as to all
claims and all parties.” Lehmann, 39 S.W.3d at 192–93. To determine whether an
order actually disposes of all pending parties and claims, the appellate court may look
to the record in the case. Id. at 205. Therefore, we first review the live pleadings, in the
context of the parties’ asserted grounds for seeking summary judgment, to determine
what parties and claims were pending when the trial court signed the judgment. See
Rose v. First Am. Title Ins. Co. of Tex., 907 S.W.2d 639, 641 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi
1995, no writ).
MANDAMUS STANDARD AS ARTICULATED BY THE COURT OF
We may grant a petition for writ of mandamus when the relator shows that there is no
adequate remedy at law to redress the alleged harm and that the act to be compelled is
purely ministerial. Aranda v. Dist. Clerk, 207 S.W.3d 785, 786 (Tex. Crim. App. 2006)
(orig. proceeding). An order entered without due process is void. Cf. In re Taylor, 130 S.
W.3d 448, 449 (Tex. App.––Texarkana 2001, orig. proceeding); cf. also Abdullah v. State,
211 S.W.3d 938, 942 (Tex. App.––Texarkana 2007, no pet.) (order removing funds from
inmate’s account did not afford procedural due process for inmate’s property interest).
Mandamus relief may be afforded where the trial court’s order is void. In re Acceptance
Ins. Co., 33 S.W.3d 443, 454 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2000, orig. proceeding); see also
Dikeman v. Snell, 490 S.W.2d 183, 186 (Tex. 1973) (orig. proceeding) (providing
mandamus relief for void nunc pro tunc judgment entered after original judgment had
become final). If the subject notification is void, the relator need not show he did not
have an adequate appellate remedy, and mandamus relief is appropriate. In re Sw.
Bell Tel. Co., 35 S.W.3d 602, 605 (Tex. 2000) (orig. proceeding).
Mandamus is not available if another remedy, though it would have been adequate,
was not timely exercised. In re Tex. Dep’t of Family & Protective Servs., 210 S.W.3d 609,
614 (Tex. 2006) (orig. proceeding).
NO TIMELY NOTICE OF JUDGMENT
If a party adversely affected by an appealable order, [...] does not receive notice from the
district clerk or acquire actual knowledge of the order within twenty days of the date it
was signed, the post-judgment timetables begin on the date the party received notice of
the order, provided the affected party complies with the requirements of Rule 306a of
the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, if notice or actual knowledge is obtained within
ninety days of the date the order was signed. Tex. R. Civ. P. 306a(4). Nothing in the
record before this Court indicates [party] filed a sworn motion and notice indicating the
date on which he actually received the order. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 306a(5).
BILL OF REVIEW
In the circumstance notice of an appealable order is not received until all appellate
deadlines have passed, a litigant may be entitled to file a bill of review. See Tex. R. Civ.
DEFECTIVE BRIEFING ON APPEAL
T[he] failure to offer legal analysis has heretofore been found to constitute a waiver of
the issue on appeal. See Parker v. CCS/Meadow Pines, Inc., 166 S.W.3d 509, 513 n.4
(Tex. App.—Texarkana 2005, no pet.).
EFFECT OF NO FINDINGS OF FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
When a party does not request findings of fact or conclusions of law, the judgment
implies all necessary findings of fact to support it are present, provided (1) that the
proposition is one raised by the pleadings and supported by the evidence and (2) that
the judge’s decision can be sustained on any reasonable theory that is consistent with
the evidence and the applicable law, considering only the evidence favorable to the
decision. Worford v. Stamper, 801 S.W.2d 108, 109 (Tex. 1990); Jones v. Smith, 157 S.
W.3d 517 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2005, pet. denied).
APPELLATE REVIEW OF SUMMARY JUDGMENTS
We employ a de novo review of the trial court’s grant of a summary judgment, which is
based on written pleadings and written evidence. Valence Operating Co. v. Dorsett, 164
S.W.3d 656, 661 (Tex. 2005); Lamar v. City of Longview, 270 S.W.3d 609, 613 (Tex. App.
—Texarkana 2008, no pet.); see Tex. R. Civ. P. 166a(c). Summary judgment is proper if
Chen established that there was no genuine issue of material fact and that they are
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Tex. R. Civ. P. 166a(c); French v. Gill, 252 S.W.
3d 748, 751 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2008, pet. denied); Powers v. Adams, 2 S.W.3d 496,
497 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1999, no pet.) (citing Nixon v. Mr. Prop. Mgmt. Co.,
690 S.W.2d 546, 548 (Tex. 1985)).
During our analysis of the traditional motion, and in deciding whether there is a
disputed material fact issue which precludes summary judgment, proof favorable to
Braxton will be taken as true, and every reasonable inference will be indulged in his
favor. Limestone Prods. Distrib., Inc. v. McNamara, 71 S.W.3d 308, 311 (Tex. 2002);
Nixon, 690 S.W.2d at 548–49. A no-evidence summary judgment is essentially a
pretrial directed verdict. We, therefore, apply the same legal sufficiency standard in
reviewing a no-evidence summary judgment as we apply in reviewing a directed verdict
to determine whether Braxton produced any evidence of probative force to raise a fact
issue on the material question presented. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Rodriguez, 92 S.W.
3d 502, 506 (Tex. 2002); Woodruff v. Wright, 51 S.W.3d 727 (Tex. App.—Texarkana
2001, pet. denied). A nonmoving plaintiff will defeat a no-evidence summary judgment
motion by presenting more than a scintilla of probative evidence on each element of his
or her claim. King Ranch, Inc. v. Chapman, 118 S.W.3d 742, 751 (Tex. 2003).
The trial court’s summary judgment specified no particular ground as supporting
the summary judgment. When, as is the case here, the trial court does not set out the
grounds on which it ruled, we affirm the summary judgment if any ground urged in the
motion for summary judgment is meritorious. W. Invs., Inc. v. Urena, 162 S.W.3d 547,
550 (Tex. 2005).
APPELLATE REVIEW IN TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS CASES
We [...] turn to the question of whether the requisite clear and convincing evidence
established sufficient proof of the alleged grounds for termination of the appellants’
parental rights. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 161.001 (West 2010); In re J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d
336, 344 (Tex. 2009). Clear and convincing evidence is “proof that will produce in the
mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought
to be established.” J.O.A., 283 S.W.3d at 344.
When legal sufficiency of evidence supporting termination of parental rights is
challenged, we look at all the evidence in the light most favorable to the finding to
determine whether a reasonable trier of fact could have formed a firm belief or
conviction that the finding was true. Id. at 344–45 (citing In re J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d 256, 266
(Tex. 2002)). In this bench trial, we assume that the trial court resolved disputed facts in
favor of its finding if a reasonable fact-finder could do so, but disregard all evidence that
a reasonable fact-finder could have disbelieved or found to have been incredible. J.F.
C, 96 S.W.3d at 266.
In reviewing for factual sufficiency, we give due consideration to evidence the
court could reasonably have found to be clear and convincing. In re C.H., 89 S.W.3d 17,
27 (Tex. 2002). We are to determine whether the evidence is such that a fact-finder
could reasonably form a firm belief or conviction about the truth of the allegations. Id. at
25. A court of appeals should consider whether disputed evidence is such that a
reasonable fact-finder could not have resolved that disputed evidence in favor of its
finding. J.F.C., 96 S.W.3d at 266. If, in light of the entire record, the disputed evidence
that a reasonable fact-finder could not have credited in favor of the finding is so
significant that a fact-finder could not reasonably have formed a firm belief or conviction,
then the evidence is factually insufficient. Id.
Best Interests of Children
There is a strong presumption that a child’s interest is best served by preserving
the conservatorship of the parents; however, clear and convincing evidence to the
contrary may overcome the presumption. In re R.R., 209 S.W.3d 112, 116 (Tex. 2006)
(per curiam). In deciding whether termination would be in the best interest of the child,
the trial court may consider this nonexclusive list of factors: (1) the desires of the child;
(2) the emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future; (3) the
emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future; (4) the parental
abilities of the individuals seeking custody; (5) the programs available to assist these
individuals to promote the best interest of the child; (6) the plans for the child by these
individuals or by the agency seeking custody; (7) the stability of the home or proposed
placement; (8) the acts or omissions of the parent which may indicate that the existing
parent-child relationship is not a proper one; and (9) any excuse for the acts or
omissions of the parent. Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367, 371–72 (Tex. 1976); In re K.
W., 335 S.W.3d 767, 770 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2011, no pet.). Also, evidence offered
to prove grounds for termination is relevant to determining if the termination is in the
best interest of the child. C.H., 89 S.W.3d at 28; In re J.W.M., 153 S.W.3d 541, 548–49
(Tex. App.—Amarillo 2004, pet. denied) (“While the prospect of adoption into a stable
home cannot alone be said to be a determinative factor, it clearly is among the factors
the court properly could consider . . . .”). It is unnecessary to prove all of these factors
as a condition precedent to parental termination. C.H., 89 S.W.3d at 27.