Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 2 Fort Bend County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. 14-CCV-052079
consists of Justices Christopher, Brown, and Wise.
an attempted appeal from (a) an order signed April 12, 2016,
by the Honorable Olen Underwood, Presiding Judge, Second
Administrative Judicial Region of Texas, denying Plaintiff
Harvella Jones's motion to recuse the Honorable Jeffery
McMeans; and (b) the "Order Granting Defendant Jonathan
Anderson's Motion to Declare Plaintiff Harvella Jones a
Vexatious Litigant, " signed August 16, 2016.
Appeal of the April 12, 2016 Denial of Jones's Motion to
record shows that the parties in Cause No. 14-CCV-052079 were
plaintiff Harvella Jones and nine defendants: Thi
"Nina" Tran, James H. Leeland, Marc D. Markel,
Clayton R. Hearn, Amy M. VanHoose, Dawn S. Holiday, Jonathan
Anderson, Clinton Faver Brown, and Roberts Markel Weinberg
Butler Hailey, PC, a/k/a Roberts Markel Weinberg PC a/k/a
Roberts Markel Guerry, PC ("Roberts Markel"). Jones
filed a motion to recuse the trial judge, the Honorable
Jeffery McMeans, but Judge McMeans declined to recuse
himself. The motion was referred to the Honorable Olen
Underwood, Presiding Judge of the Second Administrative
Region, who denied the motion on April 12, 2016.
order signed April 19, 2016 in Cause No. 14-CCV-052079, the
trial court ordered that Jones take nothing by her claims
against defendants Tran and Leeland; severed those claims
from the remainder of the suit; and redocketed those claims
under Cause No. 14-CCV-052079-A. By order nunc pro tunc
signed May 3, 2016, the trial court changed the cause number
of the redocketed claims against Tran and Leeland to
remaining defendants in Cause No. 14-CCV-052079-Markel,
Hearn, VanHoose, Holiday, Anderson, Brown, and Roberts Markel
(collectively, "RMWBH")-had filed a motion to
dismiss and to sever the claims against them on April 13,
2016. By order signed April 19, 2016, the trial
court granted the motion, severed all claims against RMWBH
into Cause No. 14-CCV-052079-B, and dismissed the claims with
the trial court's orders of April 19, 2016 constitute a
final judgment disposing of all claims and all parties in
Cause No. 14-CCV-052079.
April 25, 2016, Jones timely appealed (1) the two April 19,
2016, orders severing and dismissing with prejudice her
claims against all defendants; and (2) the April 12, 2016,
order denying her motion to recuse. On May 2, 2016, Jones
moved to withdraw the appeal, and we accordingly dismissed
the appeal at Jones's request. See Jones v.
Tran, No. 14-16-00339-CV, 2016 WL 3223719, *1 (Tex.
App.- Houston [14th Dist.] June 9, 2016, no pet.) (per
curiam) (mem. op.). Our plenary power to review the denial of
Jones's recusal motion expired sixty days later, on
August 8, 2016. See Tex. R. App. P. 19.1.
accordingly lack jurisdiction over Jones's untimely
attempt to appeal the order of April 12, 2016, a second time.
Appeal of the August 16, 2016 Order Granting Anderson's
Motion to Declare Jones a Vexatious Litigant
explained above, the final judgment rendered in Cause No.
14-CCV-052079 on April 19, 2016 dismissed all of Jones's
claims with prejudice. In the absence of an appropriate
post-judgment motion extending the trial court's plenary
power, the trial court has jurisdiction to grant a new trial
or to vacate, modify, correct, or reform the judgment only
within thirty days of the final judgment. The record does not
show that a timely motion was filed extending the trial
court's plenary power in Cause No. 14-CCV-052079 beyond
May 19, 2016. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(d) (absent a
motion extending the trial court's plenary power, the
power extends for only thirty days after the judgment is
signed). Thus, the trial court's order of August 16,
2016, purporting to grant Anderson's motion to declare
Jones a vexatious litigant is void for want of jurisdiction.
We lack jurisdiction to review the merits of a void order.
See Jefferson v. Unity Nat'l Bank, No.
14-14-00197-CV, 2015WL 1779254, at *2 (Tex. App.-Houston
[14th Dist.] Apr. 16, 2015, no pet.) (mem. op.) (citing
Waite v. Waite, 150 S.W.3d 797, 800 (Tex. App.-
Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, pet. denied)).