In re A.J.K – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In In re A.J.K., 116 S.W.3d 165 (Tex. App.--Houston 14th Dist. 2003, no pet.), the Court held that the appeal was from a "final order" contemplated by Tex. Fam. Code section 263.405(a) "because this suit started out as both a termination and a custody request, and the Department remained in the suit -- dropping only the termination request." Id. at 170.

Thus, the appeal was accelerated. Id. In In re A.J.K., the Department initially sought termination of the parent-child relationship, and the trial court named the Department as the child's temporary managing conservator. Id. at 166.

The Department abandoned its request for termination, and after a jury trial, the trial court signed a final decree naming the child's grandparents as managing conservators and the child's parents as possessory conservators. Id. at 166-67.

The Court first evaluated the statutory framework, noting the titles of the relevant subchapter, "Final Order for Child under Department Care," and Chapter 263, "Review of Placement of Children under care of the Department." Id. at 169.