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appeal of parent order

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March 08, 2005, 16:46
C. Allen
appeal of parent order
has anyone had an order affecting parents appealed? i have a set of parents claiming that they were denied due process in that they were not given an opportunity to be heard on a parent order as required by the family code (and thus don't want to be on the hook for court appointed attorney fees, probation fees, etc). the juvenile-respodent's father was served and refused to attend any court proceedings. the mother attended all proceedings and reviewed all pertinent parent orders and signed a warning stating that she could be held in contempt if she did not comply with the parent order. the only mention of the parent order in the record is that the juvenile's attorney states that mother understands the parent order and that dad's signature could not be secured because he would not attend court. there was definitely not a formal hearing on this nor did the judge address the mother directly regarding this order. does mom's signature on the parent order constitute a waiver of her opportunity to be heard? i'm struggling to find any case law and any thoughts would be appreciated.
March 09, 2005, 15:02
Crystal Murray
i just argued an appeal from a parent order at the 3rd court, but my facts are a bit different. they did make a due process argument,tho. there isn't really much case law out there. email me if you want more detail
March 14, 2005, 14:39
Kris Moore
You could always set a "show cause" hearing and get them in and have a hearing for them to "show cause" why the court should not enforce it's orders.

If your order is for restitution and they are arguing that you did not plead for restitution - check out Sec. 54.048- which upholds an order for the child and parent to pay restitution without regard to whether the petition has a specific pleading for restitution.

Sec. 51.10(k) says the court may order the parent or other person responsible to reimburse the county for payments made to the court appointed counsel. There is no language in that section regaring "after a hearing", it just give the court the authority to make the order.

In my opinion, you are going to have to give them a chance to appear in court and be heard before you could use contempt or motion for enforcement as a sanction.

Look at Sec. 61.002 and 61.003, file your motion for enforcement and get those people in there (and they have to HIRE their own attorney, too, because there is no provision for the court to appoint counsel for parents!!). Have fun!!
March 16, 2005, 11:57
C. Allen
that they are complying with the parent order at present. contempt is not an issue because they are in compliance. they've simply filed an appeal saying they shouldn't have to because they weren't provided due process.
March 16, 2005, 15:20
Kris Moore
Are they basing their appeal on provisions in Chapter 61? What exactly are they challenging - payment of appointed attorneys fees? payment of restitution? something else?

Chapter 61 (in 61.003(a)) says that they must be afforded "due process", but it also says in Sec.61.106 that "failure to provide a right or service listed under this subchapter may not be used by the child OR ANY PARTY [THE PARENTS] as a ground for: appeal".

As to the restitution issue, the statute dispenses with the requirement of pleading and BOTH were served with the petition and mother was present in court - so they are both properly before the court.

As to payment of appointed attorney's fees- the statute provides that the court can order the parent to pay - both were served and properly before the court - even if father chose not to show up - so I would argue that was a good order too.

You might have a look at Adair V. Kupper, 890 SW2nd 217 (, 1994) on the issues around parental monetary liability. That case is also discussed in Dawson's new book on p. 168. I don't know what the issues are in the challenge to your case, though, so I'm not sure what is relevant here.
March 17, 2005, 11:25
C. Allen
central basis of their appeal. they're challenging atty fees, restitution and detention fees all on the basis that they were not given an opportunity to be heard. they also rely on 54.041(d) dealing with the right to a hearing on orders affecting parents and others.