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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The trial court signed a decree terminating Donald Taylor’s parental rights on Sept. 12. Taylor filed a notice of appeal, an affidavit of indigence and a statement of points for appeal on Sept. 26. He filed a supplemental statement of points on Sept. 27. The Department of Family and Protective Services filed an objection to Taylor’s indigence claim on Oct. 3. The court conducted a hearing on the matters on the same day. In the indigence hearing, Taylor testified that he is a self-employed carpenter making about $400 per week. He is not married and has no dependents. He testified that he had nominal sums (less than $30) on deposit in two bank accounts. He has two vehicles, only one of which currently works. He has monthly bills of approximately $1,500 to $1,800 per month. On cross-examination, Taylor testified that he has worked in the past as an insurance adjuster. He made as much as $900 per day when he worked as an adjuster. However, he explained that this type of position was available only in times of natural disaster and the last time he worked in this capacity was after Hurricane Wilma struck in October 2005. He has not worked as an insurance adjuster since then, because there have been no more disasters of that magnitude. According to Taylor’s affidavit, the trial court found him indigent and appointed counsel to represent him at trial. Taylor provided affirmative testimony that his monthly income roughly approximated his monthly expenses and that he was unable to hire an attorney or pay the costs of appeal. The department offered no evidence to refute Taylor’s testimony that his services as an insurance adjuster were not currently in demand. Nonetheless, the trial court concluded that Taylor had failed to prove his indigence and that his appeal was frivolous. A reporter’s record of the post-judgment hearing was filed in the 10th Court of Appeals on Oct. 16. A limited clerk’s record was filed on Oct. 30. HOLDING:The court abated Taylor’s appeal to the trial court for appointment of counsel. Texas Family Code �263.405(g) provides in pertinent part that an “appellant may appeal the court’s order denying the appellant’s claim of indigence or the court’s finding that the appeal is frivolous.” Thus, the only issues Taylor could appeal were findings that he failed to establish his indigence and that his appeal was frivolous. First, the court stated that Taylor’s appeal would be dismissed unless, within 14 days after the date of its order, Taylor or any other party desiring to continue the appeal filed with the clerk of the 10th Court a brief or other response providing a reasonable explanation for the late filing of Taylor’s request for preparation of the clerk’s record. One of the issues which may arise in an appeal under �263.405(g), the court stated, is whether Taylor established a claim of indigence. To establish indigence for a civil appeal, a party must file an affidavit which complies with Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 20.1. Taylor’s affidavit included the information required by Rule 20.1(b), the court stated. Accordingly, the court held that the trial court abused its discretion by finding that Taylor failed to prove his indigence. The court stated that the department “may contend that, in light of the trial court’s determination that Taylor’s appeal is frivolous, counsel should not be appointed to represent Taylor on appeal.” The court stated, however, �263.405(e) conditions appointment of counsel on only the indigence question. In other words, an indigent person has a statutory right to appointed counsel to represent him in an appeal challenging a trial court’s determination under �263.405(d) that his appeal is frivolous. Therefore, the court abated the appeal to the trial court for appointment of counsel. OPINION:Per curiam; Vance and Reyna, JJ. DISSENT:Gray, C.J., dissented.

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