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SAR 1 Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle With Magazine v. State

Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo

May 3, 2017

SAR 1 SEMI-AUTOMATIC ASSAULT RIFLE WITH MAGAZINE, ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
THE STATE OF TEXAS, APPELLEE

         On Appeal from the 137th District Court Lubbock County, Texas Trial Court No. 2016-522, 855; Honorable Les Hatch, Presiding

          Before QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PIRTLE, JJ.

         ORDER ON APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR REINSTATEMENT AND MOTION TO EXTEND TIME TO FILE NOTICE OF APPEAL

          PER CURIAM

         By opinion and judgment dated March 7, 2017, this appeal was dismissed for failure to pay the required filing fee.[1] The filing fee has now been paid and payment was accompanied by Appellant's Motion for Reinstatement. We grant that motion and reinstate the appeal. Also pending before this court is the Motion to Extend Time to File Notice of Appeal filed by the real party in interest, Joe Dray Rushing. We deny that motion.

         Analysis

         According to the limited record before this court, the trial court signed a default judgment against Mr. Rushing on November 14, 2016. Because no post-judgment motions were ever filed, his notice of appeal was due thirty days later, by December 14, 2016. See Tex. R. App. P. 26.1(a). This deadline could have been extended to December 29th with a motion for extension. See Id. at 10.5(b), 26.3. He did not, however, file a notice of appeal until February 10, 2017. In his motion to extend the time to file his notice of appeal, Mr. Rushing requests that we apply the date his attorney became aware of the default judgment, allegedly December 27, 2016, for purposes of determining the filing deadline under Rule 26.1(a). We decline to do so as he has failed to comply with Rule 4.2 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. See Tex. R. App. P. 4.2.

         If a party does not receive notice or acquire actual knowledge of a judgment within twenty days of its signing, the period to file a notice of appeal will not begin to run until the date the party receives notice. Id. at 4.2(a). To gain this additional time to file a notice of appeal, a party must comply with Rule 306a(5) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and prove in the trial court, upon sworn motion, the date on which the party or his attorney first received notice of the judgment. Id. at 4.2(b); Tex.R.Civ.P. 306a(5). The Rule 306a(5) motion must be filed while the trial court retains plenary power, measured from the alleged date of notice in the motion. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(d); John v. Marshall Health Servs., Inc., 58 S.W.3d 738, 741 (Tex. 2001) (per curiam). Finally, the trial court must issue a written order that finds the date the party received notice. See Tex. R. App. P. 4.2(c).

         Thus, to proceed under Rule 4.2 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, Mr. Rushing was required to file a Rule 306a(5) motion in the trial court, present proof, and obtain an order from the trial court specifically finding the date he or his attorney first received notice of the default judgment. He was also required to file the Rule 306a(5) motion by January 26, 2017, within the trial court's plenary power, measured by the date he allegedly received notice.[2] See Goodwill v. Tex. A&M Univ. Med. Sch., No. 03-04-00255-CV, 2004 Tex.App. LEXIS 5784, at *5-6 (Tex. App.-Austin July 1, 2004, no pet.) (mem. op.). Having failed to file a Rule 306a(5) motion within the trial court's plenary jurisdiction, he cannot satisfy the requirements of Rule 4.2 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, and therefore, he cannot benefit from the rule's extension of the appellate timetable. See id. at *6. Since Mr. Rushing's notice of appeal was not timely filed under Rule 26.1(a) of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, we are without jurisdiction to entertain a direct appeal from the default judgment. See Tex. R. App. P. 25.1(b), 26.1(a).

         In the interest of justice, however, we construe Mr. Rushing's notice of appeal as a notice of restricted appeal. See Tex. R. App. P. 25.1(d)(7) (required contents for notice of restricted appeal); 26.1(c) (notice of restricted appeal must be filed within six months after the judgment is signed); 30 (allowing a party to file a restricted appeal if the party did not participate in the hearing resulting in the judgment complained of and did not timely file a post-judgment motion, request for findings of fact and conclusions of law, or a notice of appeal within the time permitted by Rule 26.1(a)).

         Having reinstated the appeal as a restricted appeal, we direct Mr. Rushing to file an amended notice of appeal that complies with Rule 25.1(d)(7) on or before May 12, 2017. See Tex. R. App. P. 25.1(d)(7). We further direct that Mr. Rushing make acceptable payment arrangements for the clerk's record and that he request preparation of and make acceptable payment arrangements for the reporter's record, if any, in compliance with Rules 35.3(a)(2) and (b)(3) of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. See Tex. R. App. P. 35.3(a)(2), (b)(3). Given the uncertainty of a date by which to commence appellate timetables, we deem Mr. Rushing's restricted notice of appeal to be filed as of the date of this order. Accordingly, the appellate record must be filed within thirty days of the date of this order. See Tex. R. App. P. 35.1(c). Appellate briefs will be due in accordance with the deadlines provided in Rule 38.6 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. See Tex. R. App. P. 38.6.

         It is so ordered.

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