AUSTIN— The Texas Public Policy Foundation, on behalf of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, the Lone Star Justice Alliance, the Texas Association of Family Defense Attorneys, Texas Appleseed, and the Texas Home School Coalition, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of Texas, opposing the unjust termination of the father’s parental rights based on the actions of others and his previous imprisonment. In the brief, TPPF argued SCOTX failed to apply the appropriate standard of review- strict scrutiny- and therefore, must vacate its previous opinion and render a judgement in favor of the father.
Despite clear evidence of the father’s rehabilitation, and full cooperation with the Department of Family Protective Services, the termination of his rights was upheld on the flawed theory that he endangered his daughter by allowing her to reside with her mother and her boyfriend—the true perpetrators of the harm to his daughter—while he was incarcerated.
This termination violated the father’s constitutionally-guaranteed rights, effectively punishing him for actions he did not commit and had no control over.
“The tragedy of this case is that the relationship between a father and daughter is at risk of being forever destroyed—not because of anything dad did wrong, but because the courts and the Department of Family and Protective Services have denied him the constitutionally-required protections all parents are entitled,” said Andrew Brown, TPPF’s Distinguished Senior Fellow of Child & Family Policy.