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Cruz v. Ghani

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

July 22, 2019

ERWIN CRUZ AND THE ERWIN A. CRUZ FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, BOTH OF THEM INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF NORTH DALLAS MEDICAL IMAGING, LP, PLANO AMI, LP, AND GHANI MEDICAL INVESTMENTS, INC., Appellants
v.
MEHRDAD GHANI, Appellee

          On Appeal from the 101st Judicial District Court Dallas County, Texas, Trial Court Cause No. DC-10-16274

         Before the En Banc Court Opinion

          OPINION AND ORDERON MOTION FOR EN BANC RECONSIDERATION

          CORY L. CARLYLE JUSTICE.

         Erwin Cruz and the Erwin A. Cruz Family Limited Partnership, each individually and on behalf of North Dallas Medical Imaging, LP, Plano AMI, LP, and Ghani Medical Investments, Inc., appealed the trial court's judgment notwithstanding the verdict in favor of Mehrdad Ghani. After the court's original opinion issued, appellants and appellee each filed motions for rehearing. The court denied the motions for rehearing, withdrew its original opinion, vacated its judgment, and issued a different opinion on rehearing. Cruz v. Ghani, No. 05-17-00566-CV, 2018 WL 6566642 (Tex. App.-Dallas Dec. 13, 2018, pet. filed) (mem. op.).

         The parties again filed motions for rehearing, both of which were denied on January 8, 2019, because rule 49.3 requires denial in the absence of "a majority of the justices who participated in the decision of the case." See Tex. R. App. P. 49.3. Appellants filed a motion for en banc reconsideration fifteen days after that order issued. The en banc court requested appellee to file a response and appellee did so, arguing the motion for en banc reconsideration was untimely and that this court lacked jurisdiction to consider it.

         When construing rules of procedure, courts apply the same rules of construction that govern the interpretation of statutes. Ford Motor Co. v. Garcia, 363 S.W.3d 573, 579 (Tex. 2012). When a rule of procedure is clear and unambiguous, we construe the rule's language according to its plain or literal meaning. See Tex. Dep't of Transp. v. Needham, 82 S.W.3d 314, 318 (Tex. 2002); In re Caballero, 272 S.W.3d 595, 599 (Tex. 2008) ("In doing this, we give effect to all [a rule's] words and, if possible, do not treat any [] language as mere surplusage.").

         Rule of appellate procedure 49.7 says,

A party may file a motion for en banc reconsideration as a separate motion, with or without filing a motion for rehearing. The motion must be filed within 15 days after the court of appeals' judgment or order, or when permitted, within 15 days after the court of appeals' denial of the party's last timely filed motion for rehearing or en banc reconsideration. While the court has plenary power, a majority of the en banc court may, with or without a motion, order en banc reconsideration of a panel's decision. If a majority orders reconsideration, the panel's judgment or order does not become final, and the case will be resubmitted to the court for en banc review and disposition.

Tex. R. App. P. 49.7 (amended in 2008, adding the first two sentences to the rule). The supreme court added the phrase "when permitted" to rule 49.7 in 2008 and no court has clarified its meaning. The phrase's meaning gives us pause.[1]

         The rules of appellate procedure "recognize the goal of just, fair, and equitable resolution of issues." In re M.N., 262 S.W.3d 799, 802 (Tex. 2008). The supreme court tells us to "construe the Rules of Appellate Procedure reasonably, yet liberally, so that the right to appeal is not lost by imposing requirements not absolutely necessary to effect the purpose of a rule." Verburgt v. Dorner, 959 S.W.2d 615, 616-17 (Tex. 1997) (citations omitted); accord Kunstoplast of Am., Inc. v. Formosa Plastics Corp., USA, 937 S.W.2d 455, 456 (Tex. 1996). The supreme court also said in Verburgt that it "has never wavered from the principle that appellate courts should not dismiss an appeal for a procedural defect whenever any arguable interpretation of the Rules of Appellate Procedure would preserve the appeal." Verburgt, 959 S.W.2d at 616.[2] Further, the supreme court's opinion in City of San Antonio v. Hartman, 201 S.W.3d 667 (Tex. 2006), gives us issue-specific guidance.

         I.

         In Hartman, the supreme court was presented with a petition for review filed more than 45 days after the court of appeals's judgment but fewer than 30 days after the court of appeals denied a motion for "rehearing en banc." Id. at 670; see Tex. R. App. P. 53.7(a) (petition for review must be filed "within 45 days after . . . (1) the date the court of appeals rendered judgment, if no motion for rehearing or en banc reconsideration is timely filed; or (2) the date of the court of appeals' last ruling on all timely filed motions for rehearing or en banc reconsideration"). The supreme court held that motion was timely because it was filed while the court of appeals still had plenary power, which expires "30 days after the court overrules all timely filed motions for rehearing or en banc reconsideration, and all timely filed motions to extend time to file such a motion." Tex.R.App.P. 19.1(b).[3] "Because," the court said, "justices may request and grant en banc reconsideration even after an untimely motion (or no motion at all), there would be little point in setting a deadline for them." Hartman, 201 S.W.3d at 671; Tex.R.App.P. 19.1(b), 41.2(c), 49.7. That motion and its later denial, the court held, "operated to extend the deadline" for the petition for review. Hartman, 201 S.W.3d at 671.[4]

         Although the first two sentences of current rule 49.7 were added post-Hartman, [5] those sentences do nothing to proscribe rule 19.1's plenary power and do nothing to restrict rule 49.7's original two sentences allowing courts of appeals to order en banc reconsideration "with or without a motion." See Tex. R. App. P. 49.7. We note that the 2008 changes did not insert a timeliness requirement in rule 49.7's plenary power sentence that motions be timely to trigger courts' plenary power. See id.; see also Kunstoplast, 937 S.W.2d at 456 ("It is our policy to construe rules reasonably but liberally, when possible, so that the right to appeal is not lost by creating a requirement not absolutely necessary from the literal words of the rule."). The dissent says the 2008 amendments to rule 49 make Hartman a "historical footnote" analyzing an "outdated, inapplicable version of rule 49.7." But the supreme court knows how to tell us when its rule changes address its case law or statutes[6] and though we do not suggest it must, it did not do so with the 2008 amendments. That silence may speak for itself. The same nine justices decided Hartman and wrote the 2008 amendments. Hartman is good law.

         We are presented with a Hartman situation here. After the December 13, 2018 denial of rehearing with issuance of a new opinion and judgment in this case, both parties filed December 28, 2018 motions for panel rehearing. These motions were timely. Tex.R.App.P. 49.5(b), (c). The panel denied those motions on January 8, 2019, and appellants filed the motion for en banc reconsideration on January 23, 2019. By the plain meaning of the appellate rules, appellants filed this motion while the court retained plenary power and the motion extended our plenary power. See Hartman, 201 S.W.3d at 671; Tex.R.App.P. 19.1(b), 49.7. On this basis, we may consider the motion on its merits.

         II.

         We disagree with the dissent's position that rule 49.5's conditions for filing further motions for rehearing apply to motions for en banc reconsideration and thus render appellants' en banc reconsideration motion untimely. The dissent's construction of rule 49 is contrary to that rule's directives and conflicts with rule 49.7's plain text.

         Rule 49 is titled "Motion for Rehearing and En Banc Reconsideration." Its eleven provisions include rule 49.5, "Further Motion for Rehearing," which states, "After a motion for rehearing is decided, a further motion for rehearing may be filed within 15 days of the court's action if the court: (a) modifies its judgment; (b) vacates its judgment and renders a new judgment; or (c) issues a different opinion." Tex.R.App.P. 49.5. Because rule 49's construction in its entirety is critical to our analysis of rule 49.5's applicability, we begin with a brief rule 49 overview.

         Prior to 2008, rule 49 was titled "Motion and Further Motion for Rehearing" and consisted of ten provisions. Only one of those provisions, rule 49.7, mentioned en banc reconsideration.[7]The other provisions specifically addressed motions for rehearing and did not mention motions for en banc reconsideration.

         The 2008 revisions to rule 49 included a "Comment" stating in part, "Rule 49 is revised to treat a motion for en banc reconsideration as a motion for rehearing and to include procedures governing the filing of a motion for en banc reconsideration." The dissent suggests this Comment directs us to treat motions for en banc reconsideration as motions for rehearing and thus, en banc motions are permitted after we deny a panel or en banc motion only if the conditions set forth in rule 49.5 are met. But the 2008 revisions belie that assertion.

         First, the 2008 revisions changed the language of four of rule 49's provisions to specifically include motions for en banc reconsideration, while leaving the remaining provisions (other than rule 49.7) with language addressing only motions for rehearing.[8] Those revisions demonstrate that motions for en banc reconsideration are to be treated as motions for rehearing only for certain limited purposes. See In re A.L.M.-F., No. 17-0603, 2019 WL 1966623, at *4 (Tex. May 3, 2019) (explaining we construe a statute "as a cohesive, contextual whole, accepting that [the] lawmaker-authors chose their words carefully, both in what they included and in what they excluded" and we "must harmonize statutory language when possible so that no terms are rendered useless"); ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. v. Coleman, 512 S.W.3d 895, 899 (Tex. 2017) (in construing statutes, we presume "words not included were purposefully omitted"); see also Va. Uranium, Inc. v. Warren, 139 S.Ct. 1894, 1900 (2019) ("[I]n any field of statutory interpretation, it is our duty to respect not only what Congress wrote but, as importantly, what it didn't write.").

         Second, the 2008 Comment says rule 49 "is revised to . . . include procedures governing the filing of a motion for en banc reconsideration," indicating that procedures governing motions for rehearing-which were already in the pre-2008 version-are not necessarily those governing motions for en banc reconsideration, i.e., the two types of motions are to be treated differently in at least one respect.

         Third, as described in the Comment, the 2008 revisions to rule 49.7 added the two sentences set out above governing the filing of a motion for en banc reconsideration, one of which states in part "the motion must be filed within 15 days after the court of appeals' judgment or order." That requirement is identical to a portion of rule 49.1-which rule addresses "motions for rehearing" and remains titled "Motion for Rehearing"-and thus would have been unnecessary and redundant if, in fact, motions for en banc reconsideration were intended to be treated as motions for rehearing for all purposes. See In re A.L.M.-F., 2019 WL 1966623, at *4 (explaining we "must harmonize statutory language when possible so that no terms are rendered useless"). Thus, viewing rule 49 in its entirety, the provisions described above indicate that motions for en banc reconsideration are to be treated as motions for rehearing only for certain specified purposes, none of which include rule 49.5.

         Finally, rule 49.7's plain text is inconsistent with the application of rule 49.5's provisions. The dissent contends rule 49.7's second sentence means that an en banc motion filed after a court of appeals resolves a prior panel rehearing or en banc reconsideration motion is permitted only if the court of appeals changed its judgment or opinion as a result of such prior motion. But rule 49.7's plain text states "a party" may file a motion for en banc reconsideration "when permitted, within 15 days after the court of appeals' denial of the party's last timely filed motion for rehearing or en banc reconsideration." Tex.R.App.P. 49.7 (emphasis added). While rule 49.5 allows for a further motion for rehearing in specified circumstances regardless of the type of disposition of the prior rehearing motion or which party filed it, rule 49.7 specifically describes the "denial" of "the party's" last timely filed motion. This inconsistency further demonstrates rule 49.5's inapplicability and rule 49's intent to treat the two types of motions the same only in the instances specified.

         Our analysis leads to a holistic interpretation of rule 49 that prescribes a time limit of "15 days after the court of appeals' judgment or order" for motions for panel rehearing to be filed. Tex.R.App.P. 49.1.[9] It prescribes that a party may file a further motion for panel rehearing "[a]fter a motion for rehearing is decided . . . within 15 days of the court's action if" certain criteria are met. Tex.R.App.P. 49.5. A party may file a motion for en banc reconsideration "within 15 days after the court of appeals' judgment or order." Tex.R.App.P. 49.7. And, "when permitted," a party may file a motion for en banc reconsideration "within 15 days after the court of appeals' denial of the party's last timely filed motion for rehearing or en banc reconsideration." Id. The significant phrase in the last sentence is "the party's"; rule 49.11 is similarly party-specific and is thus the only clear referent of 49.7's "the party's."

         The "when permitted" portion of rule 49.7 thus describes the situation when party X files a motion for rehearing or reconsideration en banc, that motion is denied, and party X must evaluate whether it is permitted to file another motion. Rule 49.11 prohibits another motion if party X has filed a petition for review with the supreme court "unless the court of appeals modifies its opinion or judgment after the petition for review is filed." Additionally, if still within "15 days after the court of appeals' judgment or order," and notwithstanding party X's petition for review, party Y could yet file a motion for rehearing or en banc reconsideration and the court of appeals could rule on that motion. See Tex. R. App. P. 49.7, 49.11. Rule 49.5 has no application in the "when permitted" circumstance because rule 49.5 allows any party to file a motion as long as one of rule 49.5's criteria is met, while rule 49.7's "when permitted" clause addresses a party whose prior motion for panel or en banc reconsideration was denied.

         In addition, the 2008 revisions added: (1) rule 49.11, which addresses "when" a party is or is not "permitted" to file a motion for rehearing or en banc reconsideration after a petition for review in the supreme court has been filed, and (2) the "when permitted" portion of rule 49.7. Those revisions, both added at the same time to rule provisions specifically addressing motions for en banc reconsideration, can be reasonably construed to correspond.

         The dissent's interpretation of rule 49.7 suggests that only rule 49.5's inapplicable and inconsistent provisions define the timelines in this context. We identify at least one other section that describes "when" these motions are and are not "permitted" The question we seek to answer is not whether the plain-text meaning compels our conclusion; we have identified arguable interpretations of the relevant rules and are thus commanded to impose these interpretations to preserve the appeal See Verburgt, 959 S.W.2d at 616; Cruz v Ghani, No 05-17-00566-CV, slip op & order (Tex App-Dallas July 22, 2019) (Schenck, J, concurring at ¶¶ 11-12).

         Appellants filed the motion for en banc reconsideration within 15 days after our order denying panel rehearing and thus it was timely. See Tex. R. App. P. 49.7.

         On the merits, we DENY appellants' motion for en banc reconsideration.

          Schenck, J., concurring joined by Pedersen, III, J.

          Whitehill, J., dissenting joined by Bridges, J., Myers, J., and Brown, J.

         CONCURRING OPINION

          DAVID J. SCHENCK JUSTICE.

         I agree with the majority in concluding that we may reach the merits of this motion. However, I write separately because I reach that conclusion under a different reasoning. My reasoning is informed by a mandate from the supreme court that requires us to examine a case on its merits when there is an "arguable interpretation" that would allow us to do so. See Ryland Enter. v. Weatherspoon, 355 S.W.3d 664, 665 (Tex. 2011). Because I find that mandate is applicable here, [1] and because, at the very least, an arguable construction would support our ability to reach and dispose of the issue presented on the merits, I concur.

         The threshold question presented by the filing of Cruz's motion is whether the rules of appellate procedure allow us to reach and dispose on the merits a party's motion for en banc reconsideration filed for the first time after a motion for rehearing is denied without any modification of the original judgment or opinion. The dissent, relying on the phrase "when permitted" in appellate Rule 49.7, concludes that they do not. If the question here were whether, when applying canons of construction and interpreting the rules like we would statutes, including resorting to commentary and drafting history, Rule 49.7 is best read to foreclose our review of the motion, then I concede that the dissent may well have the best answer. Whether such a construction would be practical or advisable would be a separate question. It is enough for present purposes to say that I see nothing in the text of Rule 49.7, even when augmented by resort to Rule 49.5, to suggest that a motion for en banc reconsideration can only be filed within 15 days of the date the court of appeals renders a judgment or order, unless the opinion is modified on panel rehearing. That conclusion can come only from resort to interpretative comments to Rules 49.5 and 49.7 and its mercurial declaration that the drafters intended for the rules to treat a motion for en banc reconsideration as a motion for rehearing. But to me, the real question is whether we are obligated to go that distance if there is an arguable interpretation of the appellate rules that will allow us to resolve the motion on the merits. For the following reasons, I believe there is an arguable interpretation in this case that allows us to reach the merits.

         To be clear, I do not believe that there is anything elevated or exalted about en banc rehearing that affects how we are to read the rules. It is enough, to me, that the rules authorize the review by motion of a party or by initiation of other members of the court and, in rare instances on larger courts like this one, provide a mechanism for ensuring uniformity in opinions and participation by the court's membership in major matters. While I agree that we should interpret the rules as we would a statute, employing the familiar and usual canons and interpretive aids, I believe the Texas Supreme Court has given us what amounts to a "super" canon of construction that directs us to an interpretive off-ramp where, in the process of construction, we encounter ambiguity and an "arguable interpretation" that would support a merits disposition. Ryland, 355 S.W.3d at 665. As I read Ryland, we are to read all of the rules in the manner that best permits merits resolution, a concept that no one would argue to exclude en banc consideration.

         The majority cites Verburgt v. Dorner, 959 S.W.2d 615, 616-17 (Tex. 1997), which also applies the "arguable interpretation" canon of construction in its analysis. In Verburgt, the rules of appellate procedure provided a fifteen-day period in which the parties could file a motion to extend the deadline for filing a cost bond. The court held that "a motion for extension of time is implied when a party, acting [in] good faith, files a cost bond within the fifteen-day period in which Rule 41(a)(2) permits parties to file a motion to extend." Id. at 615. The court further stated that "This Court has never wavered from the principle that appellate courts should not dismiss an appeal for a procedural defect whenever any arguable interpretation of the Rules of Appellate Procedure would preserve the appeal." Id. at 616. Verburgt is important in my view only because it confirms the application of Ryland's mandate to jurisdictional questions that might be subject to a stricter rule.

         Thus, unless one can find that the phrase "when permitted" is sufficiently plain that it requires no resort to aids of construction, we are to prefer any plausible interpretation that would allow us to reach the merits. As discussed more fully below, I believe the "when permitted" language found in Rule 49.7 is ambiguous and that an "arguable interpretation" permits a merits disposition of the motion.

         The crux of the dissent's argument is that the words "when permitted" in Rule 49.7 must have some meaning. I agree. Where the dissent and I appear to part company is whether the words "when permitted" are so clear that the typical practitioner or pro se litigant would likely read the text of Rule 49.7 as the dissent does, without resort to other rules, commentary and interpretive aids. The dissent suggests that its resort outside the text is not necessary to answer that question. I disagree. There is nothing within the rule itself to give any insight as to when a motion for en banc reconsideration can be filed, other than the fifteen-day trigger from the date of the original panel opinion that appears in the first half of the sentence. As the dissent appears to concede, limiting "when permitted" to that original period makes no sense as it writes "or" out of the "when permitted" clause. Thus, anyone reading the rule with an eye toward understanding what the words "or when permitted" means, is compelled to embark on the same journey of discovery and interpretation undertaken by the dissent.

         The dissent's journey begins with reading Rules 49.5 and 49.7, [2] as well as the comments to the 2008 amendment to Rules 49.5 and 49.7, to conclude that motions for en banc reconsideration should be considered as motions for rehearing. I agree that the rules should be read as a whole and in light of each other, and that the commentary is useful in informing our understanding of the drafters' intent. However, the fact that we are compelled to embark on this process seems to confirm to me that we are engaged in resolving an ambiguity in the text. Greater Houston P'ship v. Paxton, 468 S.W.3d 51, 58 (Tex. 2015).

         The dissent finds the answer to the "when permitted" query in Rule 49.5's conditioning on filing "further motions for rehearing" to apply to a motion for en banc reconsideration and thus to permit filing of an en banc motion only if the panel opinion has been altered per Rule 49.5. Nothing in either Rule 49.5 or 49.7 says so. Instead, it is the comments to Rules 49.5 and 49.7 that state: "Rule 49 is revised to treat a motion for en banc reconsideration as a motion for rehearing and to include procedures governing the filing of a motion for en banc reconsideration." Tex.R.App.P. 49.5 cmt., 49.7 cmt. (2008). What does that mean? The dissent maintains: "The comment directs us to treat motions for en banc reconsideration as motions for rehearing. Thus, en banc motions are 'permitted' after we deny a panel or en banc motion only if the conditions set forth in Rule 49.5 are met." Embracing the comment makes this a valid construction, as nothing in the text of either rule suggests that motions for "rehearing" and "reconsideration" are fungible for purposes of subjecting either to the special constraint on a successive motion of either type.

         However, there is at least one other arguable interpretation of "when permitted." While motions for en banc reconsideration and motions for rehearing are both subject to the "when permitted" limitation, that does not necessarily make the two motion types interchangeable and thus incapable of seriatim pursuit. For example, crediting the idea that both are subject to constraints explicitly referenced only in Rule 49.5, "when permitted" could refer to a case where the first motion filed simply seeks en banc reconsideration and still give full effect to Rule 49.5. In that instance, we would apply the procedures for a "further motion for rehearing" to a second motion for en banc reconsideration-as set forth in Rule 49.5-such that the party would not be "permitted" to file a second motion requesting en banc reconsideration unless the Court changed the original judgment or opinion following the first. The same would be true if an initial and subsequent motion requested only a panel rehearing, as the text of Rule 49.5 plainly directs. This is in contrast to the circumstance we have in the present case, where the first motion is for a panel rehearing and the second motion is for en banc reconsideration. In this circumstance, an arguable interpretation of the appellate rules is that the motions are not interchangeable, but both are "treated" as motions for rehearing and are thus subject to the prohibition on repetitive refiling without some intervening change to the opinion or judgment.

         A motion for en banc reconsideration filed for the first time after the denial of a motion for panel rehearing would be considered an initial motion for en banc reconsideration-and not a "further motion for rehearing"-that would be permitted to be filed within fifteen days after the court of appeals' denial of the party's last timely filed motion for rehearing. This arguable interpretation would not conflict with the comments to Rules 49.5 and 49.7 either, as those comments require us to treat a motion for en banc reconsideration as a motion for rehearing, but not to treat the motions as interchangeable.

         This interpretation is also logical. It makes sense for the litigants to first request a rehearing from the original panel before attempting to engage the court en banc with the limitations imposed on en banc reconsiderations. Of course parties may also file a combined request for panel rehearing and en banc reconsideration together, making a second request of either type subject to the "when permitted" bar. A contrary reading would seem to compel virtually every litigant to combine a motion for rehearing with a motion for en banc reconsideration, or file both motions separately, but at the same time, as any party wishing to preserve the ability ever to engage the court in full would have to be aware that few decisions on motions for panel rehearing can be drafted, filed and disposed of within the 15 days that would otherwise be available for an en banc reconsideration request.

         The mere fact that there is no definition within the rules of the phrase "when permitted" and the fact that we have to look outside of Rule 49.7 to determine the meaning of "when permitted" seems to concede by force of logic that the meaning of the phrase is ambiguous. The question, to me, is then whether there is more than one interpretation of "when permitted." As I concluded above, I believe there is. Moreover, applying the principle that appellate courts should not dismiss an appeal for a procedural defect whenever any arguable interpretation of the rules of appellate procedure would preserve the appeal, I conclude this arguable interpretation of the appellate rules preserves the appeal, allowing us to reach the motion's merits. See Ryland, 355 S.W.3d at 665; Verburgt, 959 S.W.2d at 616-17.

          Pedersen, III, J. joins this concurring opinion.

         BEFORE THE EN BANC COURT DISSENTING OPINION

          BILL WHITEHILL JUSTICE.

         Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 49 is an equal opportunity rule. No more, no less. It treats motions for panel rehearing and en banc reconsideration as equals, and it guarantees every party at least one opportunity to file a panel motion, an en banc motion, or both. It even gives a party who goes from the prevailing party on appeal to the losing party at least one chance to correct that result.

         The majority and concurring opinions, however, ignore plain text and deploy faulty logic to elevate en banc motions to favored status notwithstanding the unambiguous rule that en banc consideration of a case is not favored. Tex.R.App.P. 41.2(c).

         As a starting point, the majority and concurring opinions do not dispute that appellants' January 23rd en banc reconsideration motion would be untimely and beyond our power to resolve on its merits if it were instead merely another panel rehearing motion. So the case turns on whether appellants' attempted third bite at the apple is timely and thus permitted because this time it is an en banc reconsideration motion? The answer is no.

         The answer is "no" because timeliness here turns on current rule 49's plain text requirement that subsequent panel and en banc motions may be filed within fifteen days after a revised court of appeals judgment or opinion-not on whether we still had plenary power over the case under rule 19 when the en banc motion was filed.

         Rather if, as occurred here, we do not change our judgment or opinion, there is no additional opportunity for a party to file a motion for panel rehearing or en banc reconsideration. Stated differently, the rules treat panel rehearing and en banc reconsideration motions equally in this regard and give a party only one guaranteed opportunity to file either or both of those motions unless we change our judgment or opinion.

         Because the second panel rehearing motion in this case produced neither change, appellants were not permitted to file a subsequent en banc motion. Since appellants' en banc motion wasn't "permitted," it was not timely. Thus, it did not extend our plenary power ...


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