Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Panel Holds Hearing on Federal Lawsuit

On Feb. 15, a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over Texas held a hearing to consider whether any of the proposed remedies ordered by Judge Janis Jack should be enforced while the larger appeal of her ruling takes place.

As previously covered, in December of 2015 Judge Jack found Texas’ child protection system unconstitutional for children in the Permanent Managing Conservatorship (PMC) of the state for failing to protect them from an unreasonable risk of harm. Judicially-appointed special masters later presented a lengthy list of changes that DFPS needed to make to remedy the identified constitutional deficiencies, which formed the basis for the final order by Judge Jack. DFPS was granted a temporary stay from enacting the recommended changes pending appeal by the state. There remains a legal question of whether any of the judicially ordered changes should be put into effect while the appeals process takes place, which was considered at the Feb. 15 hearing in New Orleans.

For additional information, see this Dallas Morning News article.