Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
IN RE RONALD W. RIDDLE, Relator
Proceeding from the 291st Judicial District Court Dallas
County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. F03-01132
Justices Lang-Miers, Evans, and Stoddart
ELIZABETH LANG-MIERS JUSTICE
the Court is relator's July 11, 2017 petition for writ of
mandamus. On September 22, 2003, relator was convicted of
second degree burglary of a habitation. Relator did not
appeal that conviction. Relator now wants to prepare and file
a petition for writ of habeas corpus based on new information
he has discovered. To prepare the petition, relator wants to
review the record in his case. Relator has requested the
district clerk and the trial court to provide him with the
cost for purchasing the record. He has also filed a motion in
the trial court requesting preparation of the record. In this
original proceeding, relator seeks a writ directing the trial
court to rule on relator's motion requesting preparation
of the record and directing the district clerk and the trial
court to provide relator with the cost for preparing the
record and to provide relator with the record and the
documents requested. Relator is not entitled to the relief
relief is appropriate in a criminal case only when a relator
establishes (1) that he has no adequate remedy at law to
redress his alleged harm, and (2) that what he seeks to
compel is a ministerial act, not a discretionary or judicial
decision. In re Allen, 462 S.W.3d 47, 49 (Tex. Crim.
App. 2015) (orig. proceeding). To demonstrate that the trial
court has failed to perform a ministerial act, a relator must
show that he has a clear right to the relief sought.
Id. "A clear right to relief is shown when the
facts and circumstances dictate but one rational decision
'under unequivocal, well-settled (i.e., from extant
statutory, constitutional, or case law sources), and clearly
controlling legal principles.'" In State ex rel.
Weeks, 391 S.W.3d 117, 122 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013) (orig.
proceeding) (citing Bowen v. Carnes, 343 S.W.3d 805,
810 (Tex. Crim. App. 2011) (orig. proceeding)). The act
requested must be "positively commanded and so plainly
prescribed under the law as to be free from doubt."
In re Allen, 462 S.W.3d at 50.
court has a ministerial duty to rule upon a properly filed
and timely presented motion. State ex rel. Young v. Sixth
Judicial Dist. Court of Appeals, 236 S.W.3d 207, 210
(Tex. Crim. App. 2007) (orig. proceeding). But a motion that
is filed after a trial court has lost jurisdiction to act on
the motion is neither properly filed nor timely presented.
In re Johnson, No. 05-16-00062-CV, 2016 WL 308657,
at *1 (Tex. App.-Dallas Jan. 26, 2016, orig. proceeding). In
such cases, mandamus should be denied. Id. After its
general jurisdiction expires, a trial court only has special
or limited jurisdiction to ensure that a higher court's
mandate is carried out and to perform other functions
specified by statute, such as finding facts in a habeas
corpus setting or determining entitlement to DNA testing.
In re Curry, No. 12-16-00147-CR, 2016 WL 3063338, at
*1 (Tex. App.-Tyler May 27, 2016, orig. proceeding) (citing
State v. Patrick, 86 S.W.3d 592, 594 (Tex. Crim.
trial court's general jurisdiction over relator's
underlying criminal case expired long ago. Patrick,
86 S.W.3d at 594 (consolidated appeal and orig. proceeding)
(plurality opinion) (when conviction has been affirmed on
appeal and mandate issued, general jurisdiction is not
restored in trial court); State v. Dunbar, 269
S.W.3d 693, 695 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 2008),
aff'd, 297 S.W.3d 777 (Tex. Crim. App. 2009)
(conviction final thirty days after judgment where no motion
for new trial filed). The mandamus record does not
demonstrate the existence of any currently pending petition
for writ of habeas corpus, motion for forensic DNA testing,
motion for judgment nunc pro tunc, or any other pending
matter that would vest special jurisdiction in the trial
court to consider relator's motion. Absent general or
special jurisdiction, the trial court lacks the authority to
grant relator's motion. As such, the trial court does not
have a ministerial duty to rule on the motion and relator is
not entitled to mandamus relief. We, therefore, deny
relator's petition to the extent it requests this Court
to direct the trial court to rule on the motion.
relator's request that this Court direct the district
clerk to provide relator with the cost for preparing the
record and to provide relator with a copy of the record, this
Court lacks writ jurisdiction over the district clerk unless
the clerk is interfering with our appellate jurisdiction.
Tex. Gov't. Code Ann. § 22.221(a)-(b) (West 2004)
(court of appeals may only issue writ of mandamus against
district and county judges or as necessary to enforce
jurisdiction of appellate court); In re Wilkerson,
No. 05-16-00322-CV, 2016 WL 1320815, at *1 (Tex. App.-Dallas
Apr. 5, 2016, orig. proceeding) (citing In re
Simpson, 997 S.W.2d 939, 939 (Tex. App.-Waco 1999, orig.
proceeding)). No appeal related to relator is pending in this