ORIGINAL PROCEEDING WRIT OF MANDAMUS 165th District Court
Harris County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 2014-64733
consists of Justices Christopher, Bourliot, and Zimmerer.
17, 2019, relator ABC Assembly LLC filed a petition for writ
of mandamus in this court. See Tex. Gov't Code
Ann. § 22.221 (Supp.); see also Tex. R. App. P.
52. In the petition, relator asks this court to compel the
Honorable Ursula A. Hall, presiding judge of the 165th
District Court of Harris County, to rule on relator's
motion for entry of judgment on the jury's verdict, which
was last heard by Judge Hall on October 12, 2018.
conditionally grant relief.
Assembly filed suit against Microwave Networks, Inc. in
November 2014, seeking damages for breach of contract,
negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel, and fraud.
On June 1, 2018, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of ABC
Assembly filed a Motion for Entry of Judgment (the
"Motion") on June 14, 2018, with a submission date
of June 25, 2018.
Networks filed its response and a motion for judgment
notwithstanding the verdict on June 21, 2018, which raised
issues regarding the jury charge, the verdict, the
contract's limitations on damages, ABC Assembly's
alleged lack of proof of misrepresentation, and the damage
calculations. Microwave Networks set that motion for oral
hearing and ABC Assembly did the same on its Motion.
Hall conducted an oral hearing on the motions on September
20, 2018, and a second oral hearing on October 12, 2018,
after which Judge Hall stated that she expected to rule by
the end of October.
Assembly filed a letter with Judge Hall on January 24, 2019,
reminding her that the Motion was still pending and
requesting a ruling. This letter also included a new proposed
judgment with changes regarding the awards for pre- and
post-judgment interest. The record also shows that ABC
Assembly made three phone calls to the court's clerk or
coordinator in March and April of 2019 to ask about the
status of the Motion.
eight months has passed since the last hearing on the Motion.
are generally three prerequisites for the issuance of a writ
of mandamus: (1) the lower court must have a legal duty to
perform a nondiscretionary act; (2) the relator must make a
demand for performance; and (3) the subject court must refuse
that request. Stoner v. Massey, 586 S.W.2d 843, 846
(Tex. 1979). When a motion is properly filed and pending
before a trial court, the act of giving consideration to and
ruling upon that motion is a ministerial act. A trial court has
a ministerial duty to consider and rule on motions properly
filed and pending before it, and mandamus may issue to compel
the trial court to act. In re Henry, 525 S.W.3d 381
(Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2017, orig. proceeding). A
trial court is required to rule on a motion within a
reasonable time after the motion has been submitted to the
court for a ruling or a ruling on the motion has been
requested. In re Foster,503 S.W.3d 606, 607 (Tex.
App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2016, orig. proceeding). The record
must show that the motion was filed and brought to the
attention of the judge for a ...