Thirteenth Court of Appeals

Appeals in Parental Termination & Child Protection Cases 

Appeals in parental termination and child protection cases are governed by the rules of appellate procedure for accelerated appeals, but include additional expedited deadlines and procedures. See TEX. R. APP. P. 28.4;TEX. R. JUD. ADMIN. 6.2(a). The intermediate appellate courts are directed to ensure "as far as reasonably possible" that appeals are brought to final disposition within 180 days of the date the notice of appeal is filed. TEX. R. JUD. ADMIN. 6.2(a). Because these appeals involve fundamental rights that necessitate expedited consideration, this Court requires strict adherence to the deadlines provided by the appellate rules and looks with disfavor upon the delays caused by requests for extensions of time. Accordingly, the Court has adopted the following policies and procedures.

Record. The appellate record is due within 10 days after the notice of appeal is filed. TEX. R. APP. P. 35.1(b). Any request for extension of time to file the record may not exceed 10 days. Id. R. 35.3(c). Any extensions granted to file the record may not exceed 30 days cumulatively absent "extraordinary circumstances." Id. R. 28.4(b)(2).

Briefs. The appellant's brief is due within 20 days after the later of the date the clerk's record was filed or the date the reporter's record was filed, and appellee's brief is due 20 days after the date the appellant's brief was filed. Id. R. 28.4(a), R. 38.6(a), (b). In accordance with the limited time for consideration of these appeals, it is the policy of this Court to allow counsel only one ten-day extension of time to file the brief. Additional motions for extension of time will not be favorably entertained by this Court, absent truly extraordinary circumstances alleged and supported by appropriate argument, authority, and evidence. If the brief is still not timely filed after the sole extension has been granted, and the case does not show truly extraordinary circumstances, the Court will abate and remand the case to the trial court with instructions to appoint new counsel.