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Family Law No. 13-01-492-CV, 12/5/2002. FACTS: David Albert Bailey appeals the termination of his parental rights. HOLDING: Affirmed. The heightened protection for these fundamental rights would be rendered meaningless if a termination judgment were erroneously rendered at trial based upon less than clear and convincing evidence, but the reviewing court was required to affirm if there was merely “some evidence” meeting the preponderance standard. Logic dictates that the constitutional and legislative requirements apply not only at the trial level but also at the appellate level. Given this development of the law, the court concludes that the third or intermediate “heightened” appellate review applies to a legal sufficiency review and factual sufficiency review. In reviewing a legal sufficiency challenge, the court considers all the evidence in a light most favorable to the party in whose favor the verdict was rendered and indulges every reasonable inference in that party’s favor. Under legal sufficiency, the court also determines whether the contrary proposition is established as a matter of law. Texas Family Code �161.001 governs the involuntary termination of the parent-child relationship. Under that section, a court may order termination of the parent-child relationship if it finds by clear and convincing evidence one or more of the statutory ground set out in �161.001(1), and determines that termination is in the best interest of the child as required by �161.001(2). The court determines the legal and factual sufficiency focusing upon whether a reasonable jury could form a firm conviction or belief on the two-prong elements for termination, while at the same time retaining the deference an appellate court must have for the factfinder’s role. The court should not reverse the judgment unless the factfinder could not reasonably have formed a firm conviction or belief that terminating appellant’s rights was in C.D.B.’s (the child) best interest or that the other statutory grounds could not have been similarly found. The absence of some of the Holley factors does not preclude a fact-finder from reasonably forming a strong conviction or belief that termination is in the child’s best interest, depending upon the evidence. Holley v Adams, 554 S.W.2d 467 (Tex. 1976). Paltry evidence relevant to the Holley factors, would not suffice to uphold a termination finding. The court finds there is evidence to support the finding by the intermediate clear and convincing standard and the contrary proposition is not established as a matter of law. While the evidence against the verdict certainly raised some question whether appellant could be given yet further opportunity to “establish” a relationship with his boy, the court cannot say, considering and weighing all the evidence, that clear and convincing proof was so weak or lacking that it could not produce in the factfinder’s mind a firm belief or conviction that termination of parental rights was in the child’s best interest, or that the finding is so against the great weight of the evidence that it is clearly wrong and unjust. OPINION: Wittig, J.; Dorsey, Rodriguez and Wittig, JJ.

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