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Poppingfun, Inc. v. Integracion De Marcas, S.A. de C.V.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg

October 18, 2019

POPPINGFUN, INC., Appellant,
v.
INTEGRACION DE MARCAS, S.A. DE C.V., Appellee.

          On appeal from the 131st District Court of Bexar County, Texas.

          Before Chief Justice Contreras and Justices Benavides and Longoria

          ORDER

          PER CURIAM

         This cause is before the Court after abatement and remand regarding the timeliness of this appeal. The gravamen of the issue before the Court concerns whether technical e-filing problems caused the late filing of appellant's motion to reconsider. Having received the trial court's order on remand, supplemental records, and letter briefs from the parties, we reinstate this appeal.

         I. Background

         On December 5, 2018, the trial court signed an order granting summary judgment in favor of appellee. On January 7, 2019, appellant filed a verified motion to reconsider the summary judgment and a motion to deem its motion to reconsider timely filed "due to technical difficulties with the Texas efile website, which prevented the undersigned from filing the motion for reconsideration on January 4, 2019." See Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(a). Appellant's verified motion stated, in relevant part:

1. On the evening of January 4, 2019, the undersigned attempted numerous times to file its motion for reconsideration with Texas efile, which repeatedly failed to allow POPPINGFUN to file the motion into the existing case, cause no. 2018CI18028.
3. The undersigned followed the instructions as given on the website for filing, i.e., all parties were re-entered, including Plaintiff, as directed, but the website would not allow the undersigned to proceed to the filing stage of the procedure.
4. The undersigned attempted to confirm the parties in order to file, but the website kept discarding POPPINGFUN as a party Defendant, and instead kept recording it as a party Plaintiff, and still would not allow the undersigned to file the motion.
5. The undersigned spent approximately 40 minutes attempting to file its motion to reconsider in the existing case before contacting a private vendor (My File Runner) to ask its assistance with filing the motion. The representative replied that if the undersigned was not allowed to perform this function, they would not be able to do it either, commenting that certain courts were not enabled to file post-judgment motions electronically, despite the directive to file court papers electronically.
6. The Texas Efile website recommended filing the post-judgment motion as a new case if a court was not set up to accept post-judgment motions in an existing but disposed of case.
7. After trying a few more times to file the motion into the existing case, the undersigned finally filed the motion as a new matter, at approximately 8:53 PM, January 4, 2019, approximately one hour after first logging on to file the motion.
8. On Monday, January 7, 2019, the undersigned received notice from the clerk of court that the filing had been rejected as it was filed as a new case.
9. Having no way to correct the envelope to allow the motion to remain as submitted on January 4, 2019, the undersigned requested a detailed report from Texas Efile of the various attempts to electronically file the motion, the attempts to re-enter the parties as directed, and for a showing not only of the lengthy amount of time the undersigned tried unsuccessfully to file the motion into the existing case under the correct event, but also the end result that POPPINGFUN still came out designated as a Plaintiff, along ...

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