Trial & Error: Tips for Trial Lawyers

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On Monday, October 22, 2012 by Robert M. O'Boyle posted in Trial & Error: Tips for Trial Lawyers
The Texas Supreme Court on October 12, 2012, in In The Interest of E.N.C., J.A.C., S.A.L, N.A.G and C.G.L., Minor Children, held that evidence of deportation alone does not constitute clear and convincing evidence that termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child.  In this case, an immigrant was convicted in another state of unlawful conduct with a minor, and given a probated sentence. After his children were born he moved to another state, which was a violation of the terms of his probation, and was deported to Mexico.  The trial court and appellate court believed such evidence would support termination of parental rights, but the Supreme Court disagreed, observing that under the court of appeals' analysis virtually any offense could lead to deportation--even a minor one committed long before the child was born. The Supreme Court held that no evidence was presented of the circumstances of the earlier conviction and deportation, and rejected the argument that deportation in and of itself is an act of endangerment that justifies termination of parental rights.
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