Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo
QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PIRTLE, JJ.
Reidie James Jackson, appearing pro se, filed a petition
asking the Court to issue a writ of mandamus against
respondent, the Honorable Ana Estevez, judge of the 251st
District Court of Potter County. He seeks an order compelling
Judge Estevez to rule on a motion for partial summary
judgment filed on October 22, 2015, by real parties in
interest and defendants in the trial court, David Ellis and
Andrew Gratz, and his request for a trial setting. We will
deny the petition.
court clearly abuses its discretion when it fails to rule
within a reasonable time on a properly-presented pretrial
motion. Safety-Kleen Corp. v. Garcia, 945 S.W.2d
268, 269 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1997, orig. proceeding). Once
a motion is properly filed and pending before a trial court,
the act of considering and ruling on that motion is
ministerial, and mandamus may issue to compel the trial judge
to act. In re Quiroz, No. 05-17-00742-CV, 2017
Tex.App. LEXIS 7423, at *2 (Tex. App.-Dallas Aug. 7, 2017,
orig. proceeding) (mem. op.) (citing Safety-Kleen
Corp., 945 S.W.2d at 269). Before a writ of mandamus
will issue in such circumstances, the relator must establish
that (1) the trial court had a legal duty to perform a
non-discretionary act, (2) performance was demanded, and (3)
the court refused to act. O'Connor v. First Court of
Appeals, 837 S.W.2d 94, 97 (Tex. 1992) (orig.
proceeding); In re Posey, No. 07-03-00518-CV, 2004
Tex.App. Lexis 695, at *2 (Tex. App.-Amarillo Jan. 22, 2004,
orig. proceeding) (mem. op.) (citing Stoner v.
Massey, 586 S.W.2d 843, 846 (Tex. 1979)).
Jackson's second mandamus petition on this issue. He
filed a previous petition in June 2017. We denied relief
in a July 21 opinion, finding Jackson did not show that the
defendants' summary judgment motion or Jackson's
requests for a ruling on the motion had been brought to Judge
Estevez's attention, and thus he had not shown Judge
Estevez had refused to rule on Ellis and Gratz's motion
for partial summary judgment.The record accompanying
Jackson's current petition shows he has taken steps to
insure that Judge Estevez is aware of his requests. The
current record includes a certified letter, return receipt
requested, sent by Jackson to Judge Estevez. By the
correspondence Jackson requested a ruling on Ellis and
Gratz's motion for partial summary judgment and a trial
setting for the case. The return receipt or "green
card" indicates a September 18, 2017 date of delivery.
Jackson dated his petition October 11, 2017, and it was filed
in this Court on October 16.
request, the real parties in interest Ellis and Gratz have
filed a response to Jackson's petition. The response
first asserts the petition should be denied because Jackson
has not submitted proof that his filings were brought to
Judge Estevez's attention. We disagree with the
assertion. At this point in the trial court proceedings, and
given our July 21 opinion and Jackson's certified-mail
correspondence, we consider it beyond question that Judge
Estevez is aware of real parties' motion for partial
summary judgment and of Jackson's requests for a ruling
on the motion and for a trial setting.
Jackson's petition for mandamus must be denied.
Jackson's argument here seems to be that Judge Estevez
has a legal duty to consider and rule on the motion for
partial summary judgment, performance was requested by
Jackson's June 29 mandamus petition, this Court's
July 21 ruling, or his certified letter, and the absence of
Judge Estevez's ruling by October 11 is tantamount to a
refusal to rule. But a trial court has a reasonable time to
consider and rule on a motion. In re Chavez, 62
S.W.3d 225, 228 (Tex. App.-Amarillo 2001, orig. proceeding).
A litigant is not entitled to a hearing at whatever time he
selects. In re Quiroz, 2017 Tex.App. LEXIS 7423, at
*2 (citing In re Chavez, 62 S.W.3d at 229).
What constitutes a reasonable time depends on any number of
case-unique factors, which include not only the trial
court's actual knowledge of the motion but "the
state of the court's docket, and the existence of other
judicial and administrative matters which must be addressed
first." In re Chavez, 62 S.W.3d at 228-29. The
trial court's inherent power to control its own docket
must also be considered. Id. at 229 ("a trial
court has great discretion over its docket").
a Texas prison inmate, has asserted he risks losing contact
with his witnesses because of the passage of time. He has
diligently pursued obtaining a ruling on Ellis and
Gratz's motion for partial summary judgment. But his
second mandamus petition was filed only weeks after his
notice to Judge Estevez. In the absence of proof of other
factors such as the status of Judge Estevez's docket and
the existence or not of other judicial and administrative
matters which Judge Estevez must first address, see In re
Chavez, 62 S.W.3d at 229, we will not say she has
clearly abused her discretion by failing to rule on the
motion for partial summary judgment or set the case for trial
by October 11, 2017. Jackson's petition for writ of
mandamus is denied.
 See In re Jackson, No.
07-17-00224-CV, 2017 Tex.App. LEXIS 6852 (Tex. App.-Amarillo
July 21, 2017, orig. proceeding) (per curiam, mem.
 Additional background facts may be
gleaned from our July 21 opinion. We have granted
Jackson's request, based on financial inability, to
include in the present mandamus record the record from
07-17-00224-CV. See Tex. R. App. P. 2.
 Real parties' response argues
Jackson has failed to file certified or sworn copies of the
material documents with his petition, as required by
appellate rule 52.7. Tex.R.App.P. 52.7(a)(1). Review of the
current mandamus record indicates counsel for Ellis and Gratz
may not have been served with the supplement to Jackson's
petition filed October 17, 2017, which contains his unsworn
declaration that an exhibit to his petition is a true copy of
his letter to Judge Estevez and another exhibit is the
original green card confirming ...