IN THE INTEREST OF D.D., ET AL., MINOR CHILDREN; from Collin County;
5th district (05-08-00001-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 02-23-09)
File: 080001F - From documents transmitted: 02/23/2009
AFFIRMED; Opinion Filed February 23, 2009
Court of Appeals
Fifth District of Texas at Dallas
IN THE INTEREST OF D.D., ET AL., MINOR CHILDREN
On Appeal from the 417th Judicial District Court
Collin County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 417-53024-06
Before Justices Wright, O'Neill, and Lang
Opinion by Justice Wright
Mother appeals from the trial court's order terminating her parental rights to her three children. Mother
is represented on appeal by court-appointed counsel who has filed an Anders brief on her behalf
concluding that, after thorough review of the record, Mother's appeal of the termination of her parental
rights is frivolous and without merit. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967).
This Court has not previously addressed the propriety of filing an Anders brief in a parental rights
termination case. However, eight of our sister courts have addressed this issue and concluded that Anders
procedures are applicable in cases involving termination of parental rights. See Taylor v. Tex. Dep't of
Protective & Regulatory Servs., 160 S.W.3d 641, 646 (Tex. App.-Austin 2005, pet. denied); In re D.E.S.,
135 S.W.3d 326, 329 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, no pet.); In re K.D., 127 S.W.3d 66, 67 (Tex.
App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, no pet.); Porter v. Tex. Dep't of Protective & Regulatory Servs., 105 S.W.3d
52, 56 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 2003, no pet.); In re K.M., 98 S.W.3d 774, 777 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth
2003, no pet.); In re E.L.Y., 69 S.W.3d 838, 841 (Tex. App.-Waco 2002, no pet.); In re K.S.M., 61 S.W.3d
632, 634 (Tex. App.-Tyler 2001, no pet.); In re A.W.T., 61 S.W.3d 87, 88 (Tex. App.-Amarillo 2001, no
pet). We join our sister courts in holding that Anders procedures apply in termination of parental rights
Following a bench trial, the trial court terminated Mother's parental rights to her three children. One of
Mother's children, D.D., suffered a severe skull fracture and fifteen rib fractures. D.D. was just two months
old at the time of her injuries. Throughout the process, both Mother and D.D.'s Father See Footnote 1
insisted that they were D.D.'s only caretakers. They never offered a viable explanation for D.D.'s injuries.
In reviewing an Anders brief, this Court is not required to review the merits of each claim raised in the
brief or a pro se response. Bledsoe v. State, 178 S.W.3d 824, 827 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005). Rather, this
Court's duty is to determine whether there are any arguable grounds for reversal and, if there are, to
remand the case to the trial court so that new counsel may be appointed to brief the issues. Id. The
Anders brief filed by appellant's counsel presents a professional evaluation of the record demonstrating
why there are no arguable grounds for reversal. See Footnote 2 A copy of this brief was delivered to
Mother, who was notified of her right to seek other counsel or file a pro se response. Mother has filed a
pro se response. We have reviewed the record, counsel's brief, and Mother's pro se response. See
Bledsoe, 178 S.W.3d at 827. We agree the appeal is frivolous and without merit. We find nothing in the
record that could arguably support the appeal. We affirm the trial court's final order terminating Mother's
parental rights to her three children and grant her counsel's motion to withdraw.
Footnote 1 Father's parental rights were also terminated. Although Father filed a notice of appeal, he did
not pursue his appeal any further.
Footnote 2 Counsel for Mother conducted a thorough review of the record. She conducted a thorough
analysis of the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence with regard to whether: (1) Mother knowingly
placed or knowingly allowed the children to remain in conditions or surroundings that endangered the
physical or emotional well-being of the children; (2) Mother engaged in conduct or knowingly placed the
children with persons who engaged in conduct that endangered the physical or emotional well-being of the
children; and (3) termination was in the children's best interest.