May 23, 2024

Contact: Jeremy Newman
Phone: 214-707-8445

Family Freedom Project Urges Texas Supreme Court to Not Discard Parental Rights in Landmark Case

LUBBOCK, TX – The Family Freedom Project has filed an Amicus Curiae Brief in the case of Stary v Ethridge before the Supreme Court of Texas, urging the court to uphold fundamental parental rights in the care, custody, and control of their children.

Houston attorney Chris Branson and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman filed the brief on behalf of the Family Freedom Project.

The rights of all Texas parents are at risk in a recent case where a court issued a lifetime ban on a mother’s relationship with her children without following due process. In the case, the mother is accused of child abuse, which would normally require a CPS investigation, a multi-month attempt to reunify the family, a full jury trial, and a heightened standard of evidence before parental rights can be terminated. Instead, after two hearings the judge issued a lifetime ban preventing the mother from ever having contact with her children again, following none of the constitutionally required due process procedures.

Parental rights are protected as fundamental rights under the United States Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and numerous landmark cases.

Jeremy Newman, VP of Policy at the Family Freedom Project, released the following statement about the case:

“Termination of parental rights is known as the “death penalty” of family law. This case is akin to a judge issuing the death penalty to a person accused of murder, but doing it without a jury trial, without meeting the constitutionally required standard of evidence, and doing it before the person has actually been convicted. The result shocks the conscience. No matter how egregious the accusations, the law requires a minimum process that every person is due. Discarding that process is a threat to the rights of every parent in Texas.”