What do we do with children who commit serious, violent crimes but who may benefit from the rehabilitative resources available in the juvenile system?
In the juvenile system, where we balance the sometimes-conflicting interests of community safety with the rehabilitation of today’s youth, what do we do with children who commit serious violent crimes? Must we always seek to certify a juvenile for the more egregious offenses? Is there another avenue to seek justice for our victims without consigning the juvenile to the adult court system? What about a child under the age of 14 who commits an aggravated offense but who cannot be certified to stand trial as an adult? Is the State limited to a sentence that ends at age 18 or 19?
The route that allows juvenile offenders to receive a chance at rehabilitation while maintaining an incentive of keeping them out of the adult system is a determinate sentence. For the State, this alternative allows for a broader punishment range for certain offenses than what is permissible under the juvenile system, along with the possibility of transferring the juvenile post-adjudication to adult probation or prison if he does not avail himself of all of the rehabilitative resources provided by the juvenile system.
When Hans was initially assigned to a juvenile court, he struggled with trying to understand the difference between a determinate and an indeterminate sentence (disposition). While there are many differences between the two, a determinate TJJD (Texas Juvenile Justice Division) disposition for juveniles is similar to an adult court sentence in that they both involve a definite number of years or months, as in any plea bargain agreement. A determinate TJJD disposition also has specific parole eligibility dates, like an adult sentence, and its length can extend past the juvenile’s 19th birthday. An indeterminate TJJD disposition, on the other hand, does not have a number of years or months as part of any plea bargain, and there are no definite parole eligibility dates—except for the fact that TJJD cannot keep a juvenile in its facilities or on parole past his 19th birthday.
There’s also a major difference between a juvenile on a determinate sentence and one in the adult system. Sarah knows of a situation where two juveniles committed an aggravated robbery. One was 16 years old, and his case was handled in juvenile court, whereas the other turned 17 five weeks before the offense and faced the adult system. The juvenile was placed on a determinate sentence probation, where he was intensely monitored. During that probation, he graduated high school, began online college courses, successfully completed intensive, inpatient drug treatment, received individual trauma-based therapy, participated in court-ordered family counseling, and completed community service hours. The juvenile system worked with the offender—and his family, because in the juvenile system, courts can impose conditions on a juvenile’s family—to provide extensive resources that positively impacted his life.
As an adult in the criminal system, the 17-year-old was presented with far fewer opportunities than his co-actor. Once he was placed on probation, his court-imposed conditions included evaluations for drug treatment and counseling, and he was responsible for paying the cost of those programs. Additionally, be-cause the defendant was an adult, the court could enforce requirements only on him, not his family. While the adult defendant was given a second chance via probation, he was provided much less support, guidance, and resources compared to what was afforded the juvenile. While the juvenile system embraced the youth to provide structure and facilitate change in the offender’s mindset and behavior, the only slightly older co-actor was expected to stand on his own. Though these two individuals were very close in age, their sentences—and possibly their futures—were worlds apart.
Age is not a factor
When it comes to determinate sentencing, it is important to understand that age is not a factor under this law like it is for certifications, where a juvenile court is waiving its exclusive jurisdiction over the child. The option of a determinate sentence is controlled by the type of offense the juvenile allegedly committed and can be filed against a juvenile as young as 10 years old. The legislature has delineated a specific set of felony offenses eligible for this alternative sentencing route in §53.045 of the Texas Family Code. The list is inclusive and allows a determinate sentence for habitual felony conduct as described by Texas Family Code §51.031 and for several aggravated offenses.
The State may seek certification for any felony once a juvenile reaches age 15, including those specifically delineated in the determinate statute listed in Endnote 1; however, the State is limited to seeking a determinate sentence only for those offenses enumerated. While a determinate sentence may not be sought for robbery or burglary of a habitation alone, the State may seek it for robbery, burglary of a habitation, and any other third-degree or higher felonies if the juvenile has significant prior history under the habitual felony conduct statute. This Family Code statute is the equivalent of the adult habitual offender statute but with one major difference: If a juvenile has a pending charge of a third-degree felony or higher and has two prior third-degree felony or higher adjudications, even if they resulted in a probated sentence, the State may seek a determinate petition. Similar to the adult felony habitual statute, the two prior adjudications must not have been served concurrently. The second adjudication must be “for conduct that occurred after the date the first previous adjudication became final” and in addition, “all appeals have been exhausted.” Unlike the 25 to 99 years or life punishment range for an adult habitual offender, the felony level of the charged offense dictates the disposition sentencing range for a determinate sentence. A first-degree felony that has been approved as a determinate habitual felony conduct offense would have a disposition (punishment) range of up to 40 years, a second-degree would have a range up to 20 years, and a third-degree would be up to 10 years.
For jurisdictional purposes, either a determinate or an indeterminate petition alleging that a juvenile committed one of the enumerated offenses must be filed in the juvenile court before the juvenile turns 18. While it is preferable to obtain grand jury approval before the juvenile’s 18th birthday for a determinate petition, as long as an indeterminate petition was filed before age 18, any amended pleading relates back to the date of the original petition’s filing. It is also best to serve the juvenile with the amended determinate petition. However, if the original petition was personally served on him and the amended determinate petition does not charge him with a different offense, serving him again is not required.
A juvenile court retains jurisdiction over a child on a felony indeterminate petition only until he becomes an adult (at age 18). Therefore, probation for an indeterminate offense ends at the age of 18. A child adjudicated delinquent for an indeterminate felony can remain in TJJD only until age 19. For example, imagine a case involving a juvenile who is almost 17 years old when he commits an aggravated robbery. The juvenile court will have very little time to provide him rehabilitative services before he reaches age 18 if the juvenile is charged only with an indeterminate petition. Likewise, TJJD will have time constraints addressing the juvenile’s rehabilitative needs if he is serving an indeterminate TJJD sentence due to the requirement of release at age 19. A determinate sentence provides the judicial system more options to expand the range of time permitted to continue to work with the offender.
Going before the grand jury
To seek a determinate sentence, the State must obtain approval of the determinate petition from a grand jury. A petition containing the criminal allegations is presented to a grand jury in a similar way as an adult defendant’s indictment. A grand jury may approve the petition for a determinate sentence just like in an adult case: by a vote of nine members. The petition is presented prior to any adjudication, and the grand jury determines whether probable cause exists for the allegation(s) just as it would for an indictment in an adult case. The grand jury merely grants permission for the State to proceed on the case with the possibility of a determinate sentence; it does not indict the case. Furthermore, just as an adult defendant can waive a grand jury indictment for a noncapital offense and plead to that offense, a juvenile and his attorney can also waive the right to grand jury approval for a determinate petition, and the court may then proceed with a determinate disposition for the case.
When presenting a case to a grand jury, in addition to probable cause, be prepared to explain what a determinate sentence is and why it is an appropriate avenue for a case. Whenever we have presented juvenile determinate cases to a grand jury, jurors usually have numerous questions. Many grand jurors initially think that we are asking them to determine whether the juvenile should be tried as an adult. We usually take a few moments to explain the law surrounding the determinate statute and highlight the differences between certification and a determinate sentence. (For more about certifications, read our article in a past issue at www.tdcaa.com/journal/ juvenile-certifications.) Additionally, we emphasize that if the grand jury denies the determinate petition, the case is not dismissed. The indeterminate petition will still be pending and the juvenile will still face the charges against him even if the grand jury declines to approve the determinate petition. Include in the presentation to the grand jury the differences in ability to seal each type of petition, the ranges of potential disposition sentences, and the possibility of transferring the disposition sentences at age 19 to the adult system (all of which we discuss later in this article; also see the chart on page 33). Taking a few minutes to explain the law is critical to educate the grand jurors on this unique juvenile alternative and to prevent any misunderstandings in their decision-making.
Why determinate sentencing is a good option
There are a number of scenarios in which a determinate sentence might be the more appropriate option for a case. In some situations, a case may not merit certification to adult court. For example, a juvenile who commits a serious felony but is lacking a criminal history in the juvenile system or other factors set out in Texas Family Code §54.02 for certification may be prosecuted more fittingly with a determinate sentence. This would allow the offender to receive vast rehabilitative resources offered in the juvenile system while maintaining the option of possibly transferring his sentence to the adult system.
Hans had a serious case in which a 14-year-old shot a woman in the arm with a shotgun, and he was charged with aggravated assault. While the victim’s arm was not amputated, she effectively lost the use of it and her career as a nurse ended. Because the juvenile was 14 at the time of the incident and the crime was only a second-degree felony, the State could not certify him to stand trial as an adult. In addition, he was able to reset his case repeatedly and was over age 16 when we finally settled his case, so a determinate petition was the best option to ensure that justice was served.
One of the main reasons for utilizing a determinate petition is the sentencing range that is available. A juvenile adjudicated for a burglary of a habitation (again, an offense not eligible for a determinate petition) who receives an indeterminate TJJD sentence can remain in TJJD until the age of 19. Even though he will be assigned a minimum length of stay before he is eligible for release based on the severity of the offense and the danger he poses to the community, there are other factors that determine when a juvenile sentenced to an indeterminate sentence may be released. Therefore, the amount of time he may remain in TJJD before he paroles out is not as certain as with a determinate sentence. The difference between a TJJD commitment (or sentence) on an indeterminate case versus a determinate case is that on an indeterminate sentence, the juvenile is committed to TJJD for an unstated length of time. On a determinate sentence, the juvenile is sentenced to a specific sentence, such as 10 years at TJJD. Therefore, the plea bargain offer on a determinate petition is similar to plea bargain negotiations in an adult felony court. For example, a juvenile charged with an aggravated robbery on a determinate petition could have a plea bargain recommendation of up to 40 years.
There are minimum periods of confinement that a juvenile must serve on a determinate TJJD sentence before he is eligible for parole from TJJD. The laws that govern parole eligibility for adult offenders do not apply to juvenile offenders while they are in TJJD. For capital murder, the minimum period of confinement before parole eligibility is 10 years. This means that a juvenile sentenced to 10 years on a capital offense will not be able to serve his minimum period of confinement except in the unlikely event that he committed the offense on his 10th birthday, was arrested, and continuously detained for the next 10 years. Any sentence less than 10 years on a capital offense would have to be served in full. For a first-degree felony or an aggravated controlled substance felony, the minimum period of confinement is three years. For a second-degree offense, it is two years, and for a third-degree offense, it is one year.
TJJD may not parole a juvenile before the juvenile has served minimum period of confinement without the approval of the juvenile court that entered the order of commitment. It is possible for TJJD, without any approval from the committing juvenile court, to parole a juvenile from TJJD for a first-degree felony, even murder, after having served only three years of his sentence (the minimum length of confinement) as long as the juvenile successfully completes TJJD’s rehabilitation programs. Note that a juvenile gets credit for the time served in any detention facility before he is adjudicated. This credit is used when computing eligibility for parole and discharge on a determinate petition similarly to an adult defendant. There is no similar provision in the law for giving credit for time served in detention on an indeterminate TJJD sentence prior to adjudication.
There are other similarities between a juvenile determinate case and an adult court case. For instance, a determinate sentence of 10 years or less may be probated by a judge or jury. Additionally, a judge may extend the determinate probation, before that probation expires, for an additional 10 years. However, a determinate probation ends when the juvenile turns 19 unless the court transfers the probation to an appropriate adult district court before the juvenile’s 19th birthday. Once that probation is transferred to an adult district court, that court shall place the juvenile on probation for the remainder of the probation period and impose conditions consistent with those ordered by the juvenile court. In cases in which a juvenile court has ordered a child to register as a sex offender or for an offense that is eligible for registration as a sex offender, the adult district court has the authority either to order sex offender registration or excuse registration.
One question Hans often receives from adult-court prosecutors deals with motions to revoke determinate probations, namely the punishment range of a transferred determinate probation. It is hard for prosecutors to believe that the adult district court judge can assess a sentence less than the normal statutory minimum. However, for a transferred determinate probation for aggravated robbery, the judge can assess a sentence less than five years, and for a second- or third-degree felony, the judge can assess less than two years in prison.
Differences between determinate and indeterminate petitions
One important difference between determinate and indeterminate petitions concerns the juvenile’s right to jury disposition (sentencing) and who may preside over the case. A juvenile who faces a determinate petition offense is entitled to a jury of 12 persons for both the adjudication hearing and the disposition hearing. Because a jury must be “selected in accordance with the requirements in criminal cases,” each side is entitled to 10 peremptory strikes. A juvenile and his lawyer must file a written election for jury disposition prior to the beginning of voir dire. A juvenile facing an indeterminate petition does not have the right to a jury trial for the disposition hearing. And unlike in the adult system where the State has the right to a jury trial, the State does not have that right for either a determinate petition or for an indeterminate petition.
Furthermore, an associate judge or referee may not hear a determinate petition case. In fact, only the juvenile judge may preside over the adjudication, disposition, modification of disposition (violation of probation hearing), and TJJD or probation transfer hearings (see the discussion on TJJD and probation transfer hearings below for more on these) on a determinate petition case. These major differences between a determinate and an indeterminate petition highlight the importance that the legislature afforded a determinate petition.
Because there are no minimum sentences for any determinate offenses, a judge or jury is not bound to assess a first-degree felony adjudication with a five-year sentence. In addition, there is no automatic sentence for a capital offense. In fact, a judge or jury may decide that no disposition should be imposed if the judge or jury does not find it true that the juvenile “is in need of rehabilitation or the protection of the public or the child requires that disposition be made.” In the event of a negative finding to this question, the judge “shall dismiss the child and enter a final judgment without any disposition.” No disposition on a juvenile’s case is similar to a “time served” plea in the adult world. The juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent, but there is no further court supervision with probation, nor is there any TJJD confinement.
A juvenile may also be placed on probation for any offense, including capital murder, for which the sentence is 10 years or less. And unlike in the adult system, a juvenile’s prior felony adjudication history does not prevent him from being eligible for probation; there is nothing in the Family Code that matches the limits on probation eligibility that adults face in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 42A. It can be a challenge for a prosecutor trying a juvenile for capital murder, murder, or an aggravated offense to qualify a jury panel on both the issue of considering probation as punishment and answering “not true” to the disposition question. A determinate murder case tried in Harris County many years ago—of a 10-year-old—required weeks of individualized voir dire before a jury could be seated because of many of these issues.
Transfer to the adult system
Before a juvenile reaches age 19 and after already having been sent to TJJD or placed on juvenile probation for a determinate petition offense, he can be transferred to adult prison, adult parole, or adult probation to complete any remainder of his sentence. In fact, a juvenile placed in TJJD can be transferred to adult prison as early as age 16 if his conduct indicates that the welfare of the community requires transfer. These hearings can be conducted only by the juvenile court judge, not by the associate judge. On a release or transfer hearing from TJJD, the court shall notify the juvenile, his parents, any legal guardian, the prosecutor, the victim in the case or a family member, and any other person who has filed a written request with the court to be notified of the hearing. In Harris County, the court does not notify the victim or any family members of the transfer hearing date, so it generally falls on the prosecutor to make the effort to notify them or any other witness to give the court insight into the offender’s conduct and its impact on the victim.
If the juvenile was placed on probation, it is the prosecutor’s responsibility to request a hearing to transfer the juvenile before his 19th birthday. Unless the incomplete proceedings statute applies (see below), the transfer hearing of the juvenile’s determinate probation must happen before age 19. There appears to be nothing that would prevent a juvenile judge from holding this hearing prior to the juvenile’s 19th birthday (for example, three to six months before), but the actual transfer to an adult criminal district court cannot happen until the juvenile reaches age 19. Prosecutors in Harris County have asked for earlier hearings so that we can try to prevent situations where the juvenile refuses to come to court and then ages out before the hearing can be held. However, after a hearing, the juvenile court may end the juvenile’s probation by discharging him from probation, and this may happen prior to or on his 19th birthday. If a situation arises where a juvenile absconds while on probation for a determinate petition, the court may hold the transfer hearing after age 19 under the Family Code statute that deals with incomplete proceedings. The court must make a finding that the prosecuting attorney exercised due diligence in attempting to complete the proceeding before age 19. It would be imperative in any hearing held after the juvenile turns 19 for a prosecutor to put on evidence that regular attempts were made to find the juvenile to show due diligence.
Once a juvenile has been sent to TJJD, prosecutors cannot request a determinate sentence transfer hearing to transfer the offender to adult prison. TJJD must make the request by making a referral to the court that committed the juvenile. The current representative for TJJD for these hearings is Leonard Cucolo. He travels around the state testifying in hearings, providing the juvenile’s TJJD records for the hearings, and answering questions. He is an excellent resource for questions relating to TJJD. He will summarize for the court the voluminous records regarding the juvenile’s behavior and any of his rehabilitative and educational efforts while at the facility. He will also provide the official recommendation from TJJD as to whether the juvenile should be sent to adult prison (Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or TDCJ) or placed on adult parole. TJJD may not transfer a juvenile to TDCJ on its own. Only the juvenile court that committed the juvenile to TJJD may transfer the juvenile to prison after TJJD makes a request and a hearing is held.
In the TJJD determinate transfer hearing, the juvenile court may consider several factors before making a determination as to whether to transfer the juvenile to the adult system. A list of those factors is contained in §54.11(k) and includes the juvenile’s experiences and character before and after confinement at TJJD, the facts of the offense for which he was adjudicated, his abilities to contribute to society, protection of the victim and society, TJJD’S recommendation, the juvenile’s best interests, and any other relevant factors. TJJD offers committed juveniles many opportunities for rehabilitation and education. One TJJD facility offers a capital and serious violent offender’s treatment program which, among other things, educates juveniles on how to respond to situations that can lead to reoffending. Treatment for sex offenders and drug abusers is also offered in several facilities. TJJD inmates can also earn course credits toward high school graduation, college credits, certificates of high school equivalency, and industry certifications for various trades. Therefore, it is important to offer evidence of the juvenile’s behavior in the facility and to show his decisions and any lack of participation in these programs during the transfer hearing.
In those rare situations where a juvenile has been sent to TJJD on a determinate sentence and the juvenile is 18 years old at the time of disposition, it is imperative that he be transported and committed to TJJD before he turns 19. Any hearing to transfer a juvenile’s determinate TJJD sentence must be heard before the juvenile reaches age 19 for all offenses that were committed after September 1, 2011. After he turns 19, TJJD cannot refer a juvenile to the court for transfer to TDCJ. Again, it is important to note that only TJJD, not the court or prosecutor, may refer a juvenile for transfer to TDCJ. In those unusual situations where a juvenile flees or escapes from custody and does not have a transfer hearing before he turns 19, a juvenile could dodge a lengthy TJJD sentence—even if he is caught after he turns 19. The legislature has not repaired the Texas Human Resources statute to deal with this situation, nor has it added TJJD transfer hearings to the incomplete proceedings statute mentioned above.
Unlike an “over-18” certification petition that is filed after a juvenile is 18, there is no similar law for determinate petitions. As stated above, an indeterminate petition or a determinate petition must be filed before age 18 for the juvenile court to gain jurisdiction. A juvenile who commits a determinate offense at age 13 or younger, other than capital murder or murder, and who is never charged with that offense before age 18, may never be charged and brought to justice. This is true even if sufficient evidence to charge the juvenile could not be discovered prior to age 18. The only exception to this law involves capital murder and murder. If a juvenile younger than 13 commits a capital murder or murder and the crime is not solved until after he turns 18, a determinate petition may not be filed against him, but an over-18 certification petition may be filed if certain requirements are met. An over-18 certification petition cannot be filed for any other type of offense committed by a child who was under age 14, even if it can be shown that the crime could not be solved until after the juvenile had turned 18.
Demonstrating due diligence
For those juveniles who are close to 18 or over 18 and who are facing a determinate petition, the State must show due diligence in trying to resolve the case both before age 18 and before age 19. In fact, as noted above, if the juvenile receives a TJJD sentence after he turns 19, he can never be sent to TJJD or referred to TDCJ. After a juvenile turns 18, the Family Code gives a juvenile court jurisdiction over incomplete proceedings. As long as the petition or a motion to modify was filed before the juvenile turned 18 and the court enters a finding that the State exercised due diligence in an attempt to complete the proceeding, the court retains jurisdiction. The Texas Family Code does not define due diligence, so the courts in juvenile cases have reviewed the manner in which it has been defined in other contexts. Courts have ruled that diligence is a question of fact that a trial court determines in light of the circumstances of each case.
One method that we have used to show due diligence for juveniles close to age 18 or over 18 is to note on any reset forms that the resets were requested by the juvenile and his attorney. It is even better to note on those resets that the State was ready for trial. Another method is to put on the record in front of the judge at each setting that the State is ready and that the defense is asking for the delay, or to ask the court to make a docket entry to that effect. Having a documented record for the court and appellate court to review is very important. It is also critical to ask the court to make a finding on the record when the case is resolved that the State exercised due diligence in trying to resolve the case before the juvenile turned 18 or before he turned 19. Unless the court’s decision is arbitrary and unreasonable, this finding will not be overturned.
Special legal issues
There are several unique legal issues with regards to determinate petitions. The State cannot obtain a determinate petition in a consensual sexual assault case “unless the child is more than three years older than the victim of the conduct,” though the State may seek a determinate petition no matter the age difference if there is evidence of force or threats. In situations where a jury makes a finding of delinquency for a lesser offense that is not eligible for a determinate petition and the juvenile and his lawyer had, prior to voir dire, elected for jury disposition (punishment), the court will make the disposition decision instead of a jury.
In addition, a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent for a determinate petition offense cannot seal his record. The only possible ways a determinate petition can be sealed is in the case of a “not true” (not guilty) verdict or a nonsuit of the case by the State. A nonsuit of the case could occur due to any of the State’s normal reasons for dismissing a case and also after the successful completion of deferred adjudication probation. Because deferred adjudication probations may last only for a maximum of 180 days, and a court may impose one additional 180-day deferred after the completion of the first 180 days, this type of disposition does not happen often for these serious offenses. Once the deferred adjudication probation is completed, a nonsuit would have to be filed and the juvenile would be eligible for sealing the determinate petition. In what has to be one of the biggest legislative omissions, the only determinate-eligible offense in which a juvenile cannot receive a deferred adjudication is intoxication manslaughter.
A misconception that prosecutors sometimes have is that a determinate petition that results in a TJJD disposition is a conviction that may be used in adult court for offenses, such as felon in possession of a weapon. Juvenile adjudications of delinquency are not convictions and may not be used as the underlying felony convictions for this statute and other statutes that require prior convictions. This is true even though a determinate TJJD sentence (and an indeterminate TJJD sentence) for a third-degree felony or higher can serve as an enhancement paragraph in an adult case. Even though §12.42(f) of the Texas Penal Code says that the juvenile adjudication is a final felony conviction, it does not bar an adult defendant from being eligible for probation under Chapter 42A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The only way a prior juvenile adjudication removes probation as a possible punishment is if a jury finds the juvenile adjudication true in the case of a first-degree felony and increases the minimum sentence to 15 years.
Prosecutors practicing in juvenile law must remain cognizant of balancing rehabilitation of society’s youth with seeking justice for our victims. While certification of an offender may be the more appealing option, it is not always the most just resolution to a case. There are many factors to consider when determining the best route for a case involving a serious offense, and the option of seeking a determinate sentence should be thoroughly weighed. Determinate sentencing offers the State an enhanced sentencing range and permanent adjudication while providing the juvenile the advantages of remaining in a system that recognizes his age limitations and his need for specific and extensive rehabilitative resources.
1 Texas Family Code §53.045(a) (1)–(17). The following is the list of enumerated offenses:
• habitual felony conduct, Tex. Fam. Code §51.031
• murder, Penal Code §19.02
• capital murder, Penal Code §19.03
• manslaughter, Penal Code §19.04
• aggravated kidnapping, Penal Code §20.04
• sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault, Penal Code §§22.011 and 22.021
• aggravated assault, Penal Code §22.02
• aggravated robbery, Penal Code §29.03
• injury to a child/elderly individual/disabled individual (third-degree or higher), Penal Code §22.04
• felony deadly conduct involving discharge of a firearm, Penal Code §22.05(b)
• first-degree controlled substance, Health & Safety Code, Chapter 481, subchapter D
• criminal solicitation, Penal Code §15.03
• indecency with a child, Penal Code §21.11(a) (1)
• criminal solicitation of a minor, Penal Code §15.031
• criminal attempt of murder, capital murder, or an offense listed under Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 42.12, §3g(a)(1) (now Art. 42A.054)
• arson resulting in bodily injury or death, Penal Code §28.02
• intoxication manslaughter, Penal Code §49.08
• criminal conspiracy, Penal Code §15.02(1)–(16)
2 Tex. Fam. Code §51.031.
4 Tex. Fam. Code §51.031(a)(2)(3).
5 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(m).
6 Tex. Fam. Code §51.0412(1).
7 Tex. R. Civ. P. 65 and In re B.R.H., 426 S.W3d 163 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, no pet.).
8 In the Matter of G.A.T., 16 S.W.3d 818 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2000, pet. denied).
9 Tex. Fam. Code §§51.02(2)(A)(B) and 51.04(a).
10 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(l).
11 Tex. Fam. Code §53.045.
12 Tex. Fam. Code §53.045(b).
13 In the Matter of A.R.A., 898 S.W.2d 14 (Tex. App.—Austin 1995, no writ).
14 37 Texas Administrative Code §380.8525 and 37 Texas Administrative Code §380.8555.
15 Tex. Human Resources Code §245.051(c)(1).
17 Tex. Human Resources Code §245.051(c)(3)–(4).
18 Tex. Human Resources Code §245.051(c).
19 37 Texas Administrative Code §380.8559.
20 Tex. Fam. Code §54.052.
21 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(q).
22 Tex. Fam. Code §§54.04(q) and 54.051.
23 Tex. Fam. Code §54.051(e).
24 Tex. Fam. Code §54.051(g)–(h).
25 Tex. Fam. Code §54.051(e-2).
26 Tex. Fam. Code §§54.03(c) and 54.04(a).
27 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(a).
28 Tex. Fam. Code §54.10(e).
29 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(A)–(C).
30 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(c).
32 Tex. Human Resources Code §244.014(a).
33 Tex. Fam. Code §§54.05 (a) and 54.10(e).
34 Tex. Fam. Code §54.11(b).
35 Tex. Fam. Code §54.051(b).
36 Tex. Fam. Code §54.051(d).
37 Tex. Fam. Code §54.051(c).
38 Tex. Fam. Code §51.0412.
39 Tex. Fam. Code §54.11(a).
40 Tex. Fam. Code §54.11(k).
41 Tex. Human Resources Code §244.014(a).
43 Tex. Fam. Code §54.02(j).
44 Tex. Fam. Code §51.0412.
45 In re J.C.C., 952 S.W. 2d 47, 49-50 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1997, no pet.).
46 In re B.R.H., 426 S.W 3d 163, (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2012, no pet.).
48 Tex. Fam. Code §53.045(e).
49 Tex. Fam. Code §58.003(b).
50 Tex. Fam. Code §53.03(a) and (j).
51 Tex. Fam. Code §53.03(g).
52 Tex. Penal Code §12.42(f).
53 Tex. Penal Code §12.42(c)(1) and Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42.12 §4(d)(1) (now Art. 42A.056).