In re E.H.

Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-15-00799-CV (October 13, 2015)

Chief Justice Wright and Justices Lang-Miers and Stoddart (Opinion)

The trial court granted summary judgment October 28; the order said it was a “final judgment on the merits on all issues.” Both parties filed motions to modify the judgment, which the court heard on January 7. A docket entry indicates the court made oral rulings on the record at the hearing, and the court signed a corrected judgment reflecting those rulings on April 2. One party appealed. The Dallas Court of Appeals, after requesting briefing on its jurisdiction, dismissed the appeal. The motions to modify the judgment were overruled by operation of law 75 days after the October 28 judgment, i.e., January 11. The trial court’s plenary power extended another 30 days, to February 10. Neither the January 7 docket entry nor oral rulings constituted the “written order” required by Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 329b(c), and the April 2 signed judgment was too late to be effective. So, although both parties and the judge apparently believed the case was proceeding, it was over on February 10.