The state of Texas did not have authority to remove some of the more than 450 children from the Yearning for Zion ranch located outside Eldorado, Austin’s Third Court of Appeals ruled on May 22.

In a per curiam opinion, the three-justice panel granted a writ of mandamus sought by 38 women who are mothers to some of the children. The Third Court ordered a trial judge to vacate temporary orders granting sole managing conservatorship of the children to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which oversees Child Protective Services (CPS). In a footnote, the court wrote that “this proceeding does not involve parents of all of the children removed.” The opinion does not indicate the number of children whose mothers brought the mandamus.