Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
DERRICK J. HAHN AND HAHN LAW FIRM, P.C., Appellants
SOUTHWEST DOUBLE D RANCH, LP, Appellee
Appeal from the 162nd Judicial District Court Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. DC-14-03263.
Justices Francis, Lang-Miers, and Whitehill
ELIZABETH LANG-MIERS JUSTICE
letter to the parties, we questioned our jurisdiction over
this appeal in light of the trial court's Order on
Defendants' Motion for New Trial that ordered "a new
trial on the issues of fraud and breach of fiduciary
duty." We asked appellants Derrick J. Hahn and Hahn Law
Firm, P.C. (Hahn Parties) to file a letter brief addressing
our concern and gave appellee Southwest Double D Ranch, LP an
opportunity to respond. The Hahn Parties filed a letter brief
contending that this Court has jurisdiction. Southwest did
not respond. We dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
this Court has jurisdiction only over appeals from final
judgments. See Lehmann v. Har-Con Corp., 39 S.W.3d
191, 195 (Tex. 2001). A final judgment is one that disposes
of all pending parties and claims. See id. But an
order granting a motion for new trial is an interlocutory
order and is not appealable. Lynn v. Hanna, 296 S.W.
280, 281 (Tex. 1927); Gore v. Gore, No.
05-13-01025-CV, 2014 WL 1018650, at *1 (Tex. App.-Dallas Mar.
17, 2014, no pet.). "When a new trial is granted, the
case stands on the trial court's docket 'the same as
though no trial had been had.'" In re Baylor
Med. Ctr. at Garland, 280 S.W.3d 227, 230-31 (Tex. 2008)
(orig. proceeding) (quoting Wilkins v. Methodist Health
Care Sys., 160 S.W.3d 559, 563 (Tex. 2005)).
construe court orders and judgments under the same rules of
interpretation as those applied to other written instruments.
Payless Cashways, Inc. v. Hill, 139 S.W.3d 793, 795
(Tex. App.-Dallas 2004, no pet.). We construe an unambiguous
order in light of the literal meaning of the language used.
Id. In addition, "[w]hen the judgment or order
on its face is plain and unambiguous, extrinsic matters may
not be considered to give the decree a different effect from
that expressed by the literal meaning of the words used
therein." McLeod v. MeLeod, 723 S.W.2d 777, 779
(Tex. App.-Dallas 1987, no writ); see In re
A.L.H.C., 49 S.W.3d 911, 918 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2001,
sued Derrick Hahn for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary
duty, fraud by non-disclosure, suit on a debt, money had and
received, unjust enrichment, and violations of the Texas
Theft Liability Act and sued the Hahn Law Firm, P.C. for suit
on a debt, money had and received, and unjust enrichment.
After a bench trial, the trial court entered judgment for
Southwest against the Hahn Parties, jointly and severally,
for $85, 683.68 in actual damages and $13, 527.12 in
attorney's fees, plus post-judgment interest and costs.
The judgment did not specify on which claims the trial court
awarded damages. The trial court subsequently made findings
of fact and conclusions of law supporting the judgment.
the Hahn Parties filed "DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
NEW TRIAL[.]" They asked "the Court to grant a
new trial in the interest of justice and fairness for the
limited purpose of reopening the evidence[.]" The motion
stated that the trial court previously had not allowed the
Hahn Parties to admit sealed documents from a separate
proceeding-the petition and final decree from a divorce case
involving Derrick Hahn-and that the court should reopen the
evidence because the other court had subsequently unsealed
the documents. The motion stated that, "[a]lthough all
parties have rested, it is necessary for Defendants to
present additional relevant evidence relative to
Defendants' affirmative defense of res judicata."
trial court signed an Order on Defendants' Motion for New
Trial which reads:
same day that the trial court signed the Order on
Defendants' Motion for New Trial, the Hahn Parties filed
their notice of appeal. In their appellate brief, the Hahn
Parties state that they "filed a motion for new
trial" "[b]ut the motion sought only to reopen the
evidence and permit introduction of three additional
exhibits." And they note that Southwest did not respond