Family violence protective order respondent is not entitled to a Jury Trial.

Archive, Blog, Brad M. LaMorgese

In Roper v. Joliffee, released on October 9, 2015, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that the Family Code and the Texas Constitution did not require a jury trial in a dating violence case, that certain discovery in a protective order case should be allowed to comply with due process (though the scope and timing of such discovery appears very limited), and that the preponderance of evidence standard did not violate due process rights.

Essentially the Dallas Court of Appeals sided with the Fort Worth Court of Appeals in Williams v. Williams, 19 S.W.3d 544 (Tex. App.—Ft. Worth 2000, pet. denied), holding that a jury is not required in a protective order case even when it is requested.

The most interesting aspect of this opinion was Justice Evans’ dissent, where he would have held that the Texas Constitution guarantees the right to a jury trial in a protective order proceeding, and that the Family Code did not foreclose a jury trial.