DISMISSED; Opinion Filed March 6, 2009
Court of Appeals
Fifth District of Texas at Dallas
IN THE INTEREST OF L.K.H., A CHILD
On Appeal from the 86th Judicial District Court
Kaufman County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 71690-86
Before Justices Morris, Wright, and Moseley
Opinion By Justice Moseley
In this accelerated appeal, Father appeals the trial court's order terminating his parental rights to
L.K.H. The background of the case and the evidence adduced at trial are well known to the parties; thus,
we do not recite them here in detail. Because all dispositive issues are settled in law, we issue this
memorandum opinion. Tex. R. App. P. 47.2(a), 47.4. We conclude Father did not timely perfect his
appeal from the order and we lack jurisdiction. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal.
Mother asserts Father's appeal is untimely, and that we therefore have no jurisdiction. The timely filing
of a notice of appeal invokes the jurisdiction of the court of appeals. Tex. R. App. P. 25.1(b). Therefore, if
the notice of appeal is not timely filed, the court of appeals is without jurisdiction to consider the appeal.
The direct appeal of an order terminating parental rights is accelerated by statute. See Tex. Fam.
Code Ann. § 109.002(a) (Vernon 2008); In re L.N.M., 182 S.W.3d 470, 473 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2006, no
pet.). Thus it must comply with the procedures for accelerated appeals set out in the Texas Rules of
Appellate Procedure. In re L.N.M., 182 S.W.3d at 473. See Tex. R. App. P. 26.1(b), 35.1(b), 38.6(a) &
(b). This includes the requirement that the notice of appeal must be filed within 20 days after the
judgment or order is signed. Tex. R. App. P. 26.1(b). Further, this requirement is unaffected by the filing
of a motion for new trial. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 263.405(c) (Vernon 2002); Tex. R. App. P. 28.1; In re
K.A.F., 160 S.W.3d 923, 927 (Tex. 2005).
The trial court's termination order was dated June 6, 2008; thus Father had until June 26, 2008 to file
his notice of appeal in a timely manner. He did not do so.
We may extend the time to file a notice of appeal if, within 15 days after the deadline for filing the
notice, the party (1) files in the trial court the notice of appeal and (2) files in the court of appeals a
motion complying with rule 10.5(b) to extend the time to file the motion. Tex. R. App. P. 26.3, 10.5(b).
Further, the appellate court has jurisdiction over an appeal if the appellant timely files an instrument in a
bona fide attempt to invoke the appellate court's jurisdiction. See In re K.A.F., 160 S.W.3d at 927, and
cases cited there.
However, Father did not file his notice of appeal in the trial court until September 3, 2008, and filed
nothing with this Court until September 8, 2008, when he filed his notice of appeal. Thus we are without
power to extend the deadline. See Footnote 1
We conclude we lack jurisdiction over the appeal. We therefore dismiss it.
Footnote 1 Further, Father's motion for new trial, filed July 2, 2008, is not an instrument that may be
considered a bona fide attempt to invoke the appellate court's jurisdiction. See In re K.A.F., 160 S.W.3d