Sitting for the court: Justice Paul W. Green, Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Justice Phil Johnson, Justice David Medina, Justice Dale Wainwright, Justice Don R. Willett, Justice Scott A. Brister, Justice Harriet O'Neill
In the Interest of J.O.A., T.J.A.M., T.J.M. and C.T.M.
from Collingsworth County and the Seventh District Court of Appeals, Amarillo
For petitioners: Trevor A. Woodruff, Austin
For respondents: John Franklin McDonough III, Pampa
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether time limit on filing appellate points in parental-rights termination bars ineffective-assistance of counsel claim for attorney’s failure to file appellate points.
The principal issue is whether the Family Code unconstitutionally bars a parental-rights termination appeal raising ineffective assistance of counsel based on the trial counsel’s failure to meet the threshold requirement to preserve such an appeal. In this case a father’s attorney failed to file a statement of appellate points – a requirement to proceed with an appeal – within 15 days of the termination order. Appointed counsel for the appeal raised ineffective assistance of counsel, a constitutional challenge, after the deadline for filing appellate points. The court of appeals found the statute violated the father’s due-process rights.
The first argument begins at 9 a.m. in the courtroom in Austin. Each side will have 20 minutes for argument.
This advisory serves only as an abbreviated guide to oral argument. Summaries are prepared by the Court’s staff attorney for public information and reflect his judgment alone on facts and legal issues and in no way represent the Court’s opinion about case merits.
Texas Supreme Court advisory
Contact: Osler McCarthy,
Staff Attorney for Public Information
(512) 463.1441 or email: email@example.com