Eschrich v. Williamson, No. 7313

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtDIES; Harlan
Citation475 S.W.2d 380
PartiesWilliam H. ESCHRICH, Appellant, v. John Wesley WILLIAMSON et ux., Appellees.
Decision Date13 January 1972
Docket NumberNo. 7313

Page 380

475 S.W.2d 380
William H. ESCHRICH, Appellant,
v.
John Wesley WILLIAMSON et ux., Appellees.
No. 7313.
Court of Civil Appeals of Texas,
Beaumont.
Jan. 13, 1972.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 27, 1972.

Anderson, Henley, Shields, Bradford & Pritchard, Dallas, for appellant.

Burt Barr, Dallas, for appellees.

DIES, Chief Justice.

Sandra Williamson, the natural mother of William Kevin Eschrich, a minor, filed a petition on April 29, 1971, to change the minor's name to Williamson, the name of her second husband. The petition was filed in the 162nd Judicial District Court of Dallas County. The petition was granted on April 30, 1971, and from this judgment the minor's natural father, William H. Eschrich, Jr., has appealed. Appellant states in his brief--and since it is not denied by appellees we may take it as true under Rule 419, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure--that on April 26, 1971, there was a trial in the Juvenile Court of Dallas County in which Sandra Williamson and her husband sought to have the minor adopted by her second husband, Williamson. Appellant further states in its brief--not denied by appellees--that on April 27, 1971, this petition for adoption was denied.

The judgment changing the minor's name was obtained without notice to his natural father, appellant.

Art. 5929, Vernon's Ann.Civ.St., provides:

'Whenever it shall be to the interest of any minor to change his name, the guardian or next friend of said minor shall file his application in the district court of the county of said minor's residence, alleging the reason for the change

Page 381

and giving the full name which the minor wishes to adopt. The judge of said court, if the facts alleged and proven satisfy him that such change will be for the benefit and interest of the minor shall grant authority to change his original name and adopt another.'

Appellant complains as follows:

'The trial court erred in entering judgment in the case without notice to the father because this amounted to a denial of procedural due process, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Section 19, Art. 1, of the Constitution of Texas.'

Art. 1, Sec. 19, of the Texas Constitution, Vernon's Ann.St., provides as follows:

'No citizen of this State shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, privileges or immunities, or in any manner disfranchised, except by the due course of the law of the land.'

This has been included in all of the Texas Constitutions.

'Such rights as are held to be protected by that part of the fourteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States to which we have referred, are as fully protected by the nineteenth section of article 1 of the constitution of this state.' Mellinger v. City of Houston, 68 Tex. 37, 3 S.W. 249, 252 (1887).

In Duke v. State of Texas, 327 F.Supp. 1218 (E.D.Tex.1971), the court held unconstitutional an exparte restraining order prohibiting off-campus speakers at a scheduled rally. At page 1225, the court said:

'At this point in history, there can be no doubt that the Fourteenth Amendment made applicable to the States the full panoply of First Amendment guarantees. (citing authorities omitted)'

And on page 1231 observed:

'Indeed, the judgment of the State district court recites that the judge has not given any consideration to the constitutional questions raised. It is critical to the vitality of our federalism that State court judges, as well as the national government's judiciary, are obligated to apply the Constitution to the facts and the law in the cases before them. Article 6, Clause 2, Constitution of the United States. The failure and refusal of the State district judge to rule on the constitutional issues, which were squarely presented to him, presents an abuse of judicial discretion of such magnitude as to amount to a denial of the most fundamental elemen of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment--the right to a full and fair hearing--and to a denial of the equal protection of the laws.'

Mr. Justice Harlan, dissenting in Re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 81, 87 S.Ct. 1428, 1471, 18 L.Ed.2d 527, 576 (1967), expressed the thought in this manner:

'Similarly, due process clearly...

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9 practice notes
  • Lucas v. U.S., No. C-6181
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • May 11, 1988
    ...Optometry Bd. v. Lee Vision Center, Inc., 515 S.W.2d 380, 386 (Tex.Civ.App.--Eastland 1974, writ ref'd n.r.e.); Eschrich v. Williamson, 475 S.W.2d 380, 381 (Tex.Civ.App.--Beaumont 1972, writ ref'd n.r.e.); State v. Rope, 419 S.W.2d 890, 896 (Tex.Civ.App.--Austin 1967, writ ref'd n.r.e.); Ha......
  • Carroll v. Johnson, Nos. 77-292
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • April 24, 1978
    ...1277 (1975). In Texas, it has been held that it does. Scucchi v. Woodruff, 503 S.W.2d 356 (Tex.Civ.App., 1973); Eschrich v. Williamson, 475 S.W.2d 380 (Tex.Civ.App., 1972). The holding in Texas seems to have resulted, at least in substantial part, from Armstrong v. Manzo, 380 U.S. 545, 85 S......
  • D. R. S. v. R. S. H., No. 2-979A272
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 2, 1980
    ...fails or refuses to consent to the adoption. 10 In the area of name changes, the court in Eschrich v. Williamson (Tex.Civ.App.1972), 475 S.W.2d 380, ruled that under the United States and Texas Constitutions the natural father was entitled to notice of a proceeding to change the name of his......
  • Roe v. Conn, Civ. A. No. 75-232-N
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • July 6, 1976
    ...a "property" right within the meaning of the due process clause. Persuasive opinions are two Texas decisions, Eschrich v. Williamson, 475 S.W.2d 380 (Tex.Civ.App.1972); Scucchi v. Woodruff, 503 S.W.2d 356 (Tex.Civ.App.1972), which have gone so far as to hold that the notice required by due ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Lucas v. U.S., No. C-6181
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • May 11, 1988
    ...Optometry Bd. v. Lee Vision Center, Inc., 515 S.W.2d 380, 386 (Tex.Civ.App.--Eastland 1974, writ ref'd n.r.e.); Eschrich v. Williamson, 475 S.W.2d 380, 381 (Tex.Civ.App.--Beaumont 1972, writ ref'd n.r.e.); State v. Rope, 419 S.W.2d 890, 896 (Tex.Civ.App.--Austin 1967, writ ref'd n.r.e.); Ha......
  • Carroll v. Johnson, Nos. 77-292
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • April 24, 1978
    ...1277 (1975). In Texas, it has been held that it does. Scucchi v. Woodruff, 503 S.W.2d 356 (Tex.Civ.App., 1973); Eschrich v. Williamson, 475 S.W.2d 380 (Tex.Civ.App., 1972). The holding in Texas seems to have resulted, at least in substantial part, from Armstrong v. Manzo, 380 U.S. 545, 85 S......
  • D. R. S. v. R. S. H., No. 2-979A272
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 2, 1980
    ...fails or refuses to consent to the adoption. 10 In the area of name changes, the court in Eschrich v. Williamson (Tex.Civ.App.1972), 475 S.W.2d 380, ruled that under the United States and Texas Constitutions the natural father was entitled to notice of a proceeding to change the name of his......
  • Roe v. Conn, Civ. A. No. 75-232-N
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • July 6, 1976
    ...a "property" right within the meaning of the due process clause. Persuasive opinions are two Texas decisions, Eschrich v. Williamson, 475 S.W.2d 380 (Tex.Civ.App.1972); Scucchi v. Woodruff, 503 S.W.2d 356 (Tex.Civ.App.1972), which have gone so far as to hold that the notice required by due ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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