Appeal from the 61st District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2015-68003
Justices Boyce, Jamison, and Brown.
William J. Boyce Jusice
Siemens Financial Services, Inc. filed a motion to dismiss
this appeal for lack of jurisdiction, contending
defendant/appellant Jerry Lee Gentry, II filed his notice of
appeal more than a year past the deadline. Gentry has not
filed a response to the motion. We conclude we lack
jurisdiction and, therefore, grant the motion.
Proceedings before Judge Lunceford
Erin Lunceford of the 61st District Court granted summary
judgment for Siemens on March 21, 2106 ("the 2016
Judgment") with respect to its claims arising out of
Gentry's alleged default on two medical equipment leases.
Gentry timely filed a motion for new trial. Judge Lunceford
held a hearing on the motion on May 27, 2016. The transcript
of the hearing includes the following exchange between Judge
Lunceford and Gentry's counsel:
THE COURT: . . . But see - okay. The order is Defendant's
Motion for Reconsideration or for a New Trial.
[COUNSEL]: It's denied.
THE COURT: It's denied.
[COUNSEL]: I think that's what he's asking the Court
THE COURT: Okay. Well, and I think that you have an
understanding and that's what I understand it to be; we
will deny the motion.
same day, Judge Lunceford signed an order on Gentry's
motion for new trial ("the New Trial Order"). She
used the form of order Gentry had submitted, which contained
language granting the motion for new trial. The order as
signed by Judge Lunceford, though, contains strikeouts of and
additions to the preprinted language. The words
"GRANTED" and "GRANTS" are crossed out,
and "DENIED" and "DENIES, " respectively,
are typed above them. However, the following passages are
unchanged: "the Court finds that the motion has
merit" and "orders a new trial in the interest of
justice and fairness":
the New Trial Order reads as follows:
On the 27th day of May, 2016, the Court considered
Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration or for New
Trial. After considering the evidence contained within
the motion and the arguments of counsel, the Court finds that
the motion has merit and therefore should be DENIED. The
Court DENIES the motion and orders a new trial in the
interest of justice and fairness.
Gentry timely filed a motion for new trial, he had ninety
days from the date the 2016 Judgment was signed to file a
notice of appeal. Tex.R.App.P. 26.1(a). The ninetieth day
following the 2016 Judgment was June 20, 2016. Gentry did not
file a notice of appeal from the 2016 Judgment.
September 2016, Siemens filed a motion to compel under Texas
Rule of Civil Procedure 621a for post-judgment discovery in
aid of enforcing the 2016 Judgment. Gentry opposed the motion
to compel, but he did not suggest in his opposition that he
had been granted a new trial. Based on those filings, it
appears both ...