law-due-process under federal constitutional law | due course of law under Texas Constitution | entitlement
to notice and opportunity to be heard | sufficiency of notice adequacy of process
Issues raised on appeal are to direct our attention to error in the trial court. See generally TEX. R. APP. P.
33.1. Due process and other alleged constitutional violations also must be raised in the trial court for them
to be preserved for appellate review. In re L.M.I., 119 S.W.3d 707, 710–11 (Tex. 2003); In re K.A.S., 131
S.W.3d 215, 230–31 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2004, pet. denied); see also In re B.L.D., 113 S.W.3d 340,
349–55 (Tex. 2003) (discussing preservation of error in termination cases). Further, any objection must
be made in a timely fashion. TEX. R. APP. P. 33.1.
RECENT TEXAS SUPREME COURT DUE PROCESS RULINGS
NO DUE PROCESS VIOLATION FOUND IN ADMINISTRATIVE GARNISHMENT OF INMATE TRUST
ACCOUNT TO PAY COURT COSTS Harrell v. State of Texas, No. 07-0806 (Tex. Jun. 5, 2009) (Willett)
(whether order to prison officials to withdraw money from inmate trust account to pay court costs in
underlying criminal case is a civil or a criminal matter, what due process prisoner is entitled to).
WALTER E. HARRELL v. THE STATE OF TEXAS; from Terry County; 7th district (07-06-00469-CR&07-06-
00470-CR, ___ SW3d ___, 08-13-07)
The Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment dismissing the case for want of jurisdiction and renders
judgment affirming the trial court's order.
Justice Willett delivered the opinion of the Court.
SUFFICIENCY OF SERVICE OF AMENDED PETITION SEEKING MORE ONEROUS RELIEF BY
CERTIFIED MAIL ON DEFENDANT WHO WAS PREVIOUSLY SERVED WITH CITATION, BUT DID NOT
ANSWER. In the Interest of EA, No. 08-0157 (Tex. Jun. 5, 2009)(Jefferson)
(method of service of amended petition, sufficiency of service by certified mail under rule 21a when
Defendant has been served with civil process, but has not filed an answer or made appearance)(SAPCR
modification proceeding brought within one year of final order in underlying child custody suit).
IN THE INTEREST OF E.A. AND D.A., CHILDREN; from Wichita County; 2nd district (02-07-00215-CV, ___
SW3d ___, 12-06-07)
Pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 59.1, after granting the petition for review and without
hearing oral argument, the Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and remands the case to the
Chief Justice Jefferson delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justice Hecht, Justice O'Neill, Justice
Medina, Justice Green, and Justice Johnson joined.
Justice Scott A. Brister delivered a concurring opinion, in which Justice Wainwright and Justice Willett
joined. (default judgment not to be based on amended petition seeking more onerous relief against
nonanswering defendant if not served with new citation)
DUE PROCESS IN CHILD SUPPORT CONTEMPT CONTEXT
In re Zandi, No. 07-0919 (Tex. Dec. 19, 2008)(Suppl. Op. on motion for rehearing)(child support
contempt, due process requirement for notice of intent to revoke suspension of commitment)
IN RE REZA ZANDI; from Denton County; 2nd district (02-07-00348-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 10-18-07)
Supplemental Opinion on Rehearing
DUE PROCESS IN PARENTAL RIGHTS TERMINATION CONTEXT
Constitutionally Protected Interest
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against deprivation of life,
liberty, or property by the State “without due process of law.” U.S. Const. amend. XIV; Daniels v. Williams,
474 U.S. 327, 331 (1986). The Texas Constitution provides that “No citizen of this State shall be deprived
of life, liberty, property, privileges or immunities, or in any manner disfranchised, except by the due course
of the law of the land.” Tex. Const. art. I, § 19. The Texas “due course” and federal “due process”
provisions have been interpreted to be “without meaningful distinction.” Univ. of Tex. Med. Sch. at Houston
v. Than, 901 S.W.2d 926, 929 (Tex. 1995). Therefore, in matters of procedural due process, Texas courts
have traditionally followed contemporary federal due process interpretations of procedural due process
issues. See id.
Procedural due process guarantees the right to a fair procedure. John maintains that he was
denied fair procedure due to his alleged incompetence at the time of trial. Therefore, we must determine
whether John has a liberty or property interest that is entitled to procedural due process protection, and if
he does, what process is due. Logan v. Zimmerman Brush Co., 455 U.S. 422, 428 (1982).
The United States Supreme Court has stated that a liberty interest under the Fourteenth
Amendment denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to
contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry,
establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience,
and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized . . . as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness
by free men.
Bd. of Regents of State Colls. v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 572 (1972) (quoting Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S.
390, 399 (1923)). “[I]t cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of
their children.” Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 66 (2000). A state’s attempt to terminate the parent-child
relationship is governed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 753–54
(1982). Moreover, the Texas Supreme Court has recognized that the involuntary termination of parental
rights implicates fundamental constitutional rights. Holick v. Smith, 685 S.W.2d 18, 20 (Tex. 1985). In light
of this weighty precedent, there can be no doubt that John’s right to retain custody of R.M.T. is a
constitutionally protected liberty interest and must be afforded procedural due process. See Martinez v.
Tex. Dep’t of Protective & Regulatory Servs., 116 S.W.3d 266 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2003, pet. denied); In
re G.C., 66 S.W.3d 517, 525 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2002, no pet.).
PET DENIED CASES FROM COURTS OF APPEALS
BERNARD DOLENZ v. DALLAS CENTRAL APPRAISAL DISTRICT AND DALLAS COUNTY APPRAISAL
REVIEW BOARD; from Dallas County; 5th district (05‑07‑00885‑CV, 259 SW3d 331, 06‑30‑08, pet. denied
Oct 2008)(subject-matter jurisdiction, property tax appeal, administrative remedies, timeliness) (religous
In this ad valorem tax case, Bernard Dolenz appeals the trial court's judgment dismissing his claims against
the Dallas Central Appraisal District and the Dallas County Appraisal Review Board for want of subject-
Appellant argues that if the Tax Code's provisions leave the district court without jurisdiction to adjudicate
his appeal of the appraisal review board's denial of the exemption for the property, then those
provisions violate his rights to due process, to access to the courts, and to open courts as guaranteed by
the United States and Texas constitutions. The Texas courts have held that the Tax Code's provisions do
not deny a taxpayer these rights. See Gen. Elec. Credit Corp. v. Midland Cent. Appraisal Dist., 808 S.W.2d
169, 172 (Tex. App.-El Paso), rev'd in part on other grounds, 826 S.W.2d 124 (Tex. 1991) (per curiam).