Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
appeal from the 329th District Court of Wharton County,
Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Rodriguez and Hinojosa.
V. RODRIGUEZ Justice.
Charles Linder Floyd, pro se, appeals from a default judgment
entered in favor of appellee Wharton County, Texas, in a suit
for delinquent taxes and for foreclosure of a tax lien on a
piece of real property located in Wharton County,
Texas. See Tex. Tax Code Ann.
§§ 33.41-.53 (West, Westlaw through 2015 R.S.). By
two issues, Floyd brings personal-jurisdiction due process
claims, contending that the judgment was void because
"the [t]rial [c]ourt never acquired jurisdiction over
all persons needed for a valid, binding, and enforceable
adjudication." We affirm.
November 8, 2016, we abated the appeal and requested
supplemental briefing from the parties regarding this
Court's jurisdiction to consider this appeal and the
trial court's jurisdiction to vacate a March 11, 2013
judgment more than one year later on July 21, 2014, to
reinstate Wharton County's cause of action, and to issue
a new judgment on August 17, 2015, the determination of which
affects our jurisdiction. After receiving the requested
supplemental briefs, we reinstated the appeal. Before
addressing Floyd's personal-jurisdiction issues, we
address the matter of subject-matter
This Court's Subject-Matter Jurisdiction
Standard of Review and Applicable Law
jurisdiction is essential to a court's power to decide a
case. Bland Ind. Sch. Dist. v. Blue, 34
S.W.3d 547, 553-54 (Tex. 2000) (citing Tex. Ass'n of
Bus. v. Tex. Air Control Bd., 852 S.W.2d 440, 443 (Tex.
1993)). We treat challenges to a court's subject-matter
jurisdiction as questions of law that we review de novo.
See State v. Holland, 221 S.W.3d 639, 642 (Tex.
timely notice of appeal must be filed in order to invoke this
Court's jurisdiction. See Tex. R. App. P.
25.1(b). "Once the period for granting a motion for
extension of time under Rule [26.3] has passed, a party can
no longer invoke the appellate court's
jurisdiction." Verburgt v. Dorner, 959 S.W.2d
615, 617 (Tex. 1997).
notice of appeal must be filed within thirty days after the
judgment is signed. Tex.R.App.P. 26.1. "The appellate
court may extend the time to file the notice of appeal if,
within 15 days after the deadline for filing the notice of
appeal, the party: (a) files in the trial court the notice of
appeal; and (b) files in the appellate court a motion
complying with Rule 10.5(b)." Id. R. 26.3;
see also id. R. 10.5(b) (governing contents of
motions to extend time). If an appellant files a notice of
appeal within fifteen days after the date it was due but does
not file a motion to extend time, as in this case, we
generally consider the appeal perfected because the filing of
the notice of appeal within the fifteen-day window for
extension "implies" a motion requesting an
extension. See Verburgt, 959 S.W.2d at 616-17;
see also In re J.Z.P., 484 S.W.3d 924, 925 (Tex.
2016) (per curiam) ("Filed two days after the deadline,
[appellant's] notice of appeal implied a motion for an
extension of time."); Hone v. Hanafin, 104
S.W.3d 884, 887 (Tex. 2003) (per curiam) (applying
Verburgt). But the appellant must still provide a
reasonable explanation for the late filing. See Tex.
R. App. P. 10.5(b)(1)(C); see also id. R. 26.3;
In re K.M.Z., 178 S.W.3d 432, 434 (Tex. App.-Fort
Worth 2005, no pet.) (dismissing the appeal for lack of
jurisdiction because the appellant did not provide a
reasonable explanation for the late filing of her notice of
County argues that this Court does not have jurisdiction over
this appeal because Floyd filed his notice of appeal after
the filing deadline and did not file a timely motion for
extension of time to file his notice of appeal. Floyd asserts
that we have jurisdiction because he filed his notice of
appeal timely within fifteen days from the initial thirty
days of time to file the notice of appeal and that, having
done so, we must imply a motion for extension of time to file
his notice of appeal. We agree with Floyd and further note
that on November 2, 2015, Floyd filed a motion for leave to
file his notice of appeal and by order and corresponding
notice, we granted it.
notice of appeal was due on September 16, 2015, thirty days
after the trial court entered a final judgment. See
Tex. R. App. P. 25.1. With the extension window, it was due
on October 1, 2015. We received Floyd's notice of appeal,
without a motion to extend, on October 5, 2015. On November 2,
2015, Floyd filed his amended notice of appeal and his motion
to extend time to file his notice advising this Court that he
had mailed the notice on September 30, 2015, within fifteen
days after the date it was due. In his motion to extend,
Floyd advised the Court of "serious medical
difficulties" that "hampered [his] ability to
comply sooner with the relevant deadlines." We granted
Floyd's motion on November 20, 2015.
undisputed that Floyd's notice was mailed on September
30, 2015, and we received it on October 5, 2015. When a
notice of appeal is mailed, that pleading "is considered
timely filed" if it: (1) is received within ten days
after the filing deadline; (2) was sent to the proper clerk
by United States mail in a properly addressed and stamped
envelope or wrapper; and (3) was deposited in the mail on or
before the filing deadline. Tex.R.App.P. 9.2(b)(1); In re
Smith, 270 S.W.3d 783, 786 (Tex. App.-Waco 2008) (orig.
proceeding). Floyd mailed his notice of appeal after the
thirty-day deadline but within the fifteen-day extension
deadline, and we received his notice within ten days after
the filing deadline. The notice was deemed timely filed, and
a motion requesting an extension was implied. See
Tex. R. App. P. 9.2(b)(1); Verburgt, 959 S.W.2d at
616-17; see also In re J.Z.P., 484 S.W.3d at 925.
a motion to extend was implied, Floyd was required to
articulate a reasonable explanation for the late filing.
See Verburgt, 959 S.W.2d at 616-17; see also In
re J.Z.P., 484 S.W.3d at 925. Floyd subsequently filed a
motion for extension of time to file his notice of appeal,
providing such an explanation. In his motion, Floyd discussed
the mailing of his notice on September 20, 2015, and his
serious medical ...