PAUL E. ARCHIE, Appellant
MELISSA GONZALES AND THE MENTAL HEALTH & MENTAL RETARDATION AUTHORITY OF HARRIS COUNTY, Appellees
Appeal from the 165th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2016-74085
consists of Justices Lloyd, Goodman, and Landau.
an appeal from the trial court's order dismissing claims
due to uncured pleading defects. Paul Archie filed suit
against Melissa Gonzales and her employer, The Mental Health
& Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (now
known as The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD)
(collectively, "The Center"). The Center filed
special exceptions identifying various substantive defects in
Archie's petition. The trial court sustained the special
exceptions and ordered Archie to file an amended petition
curing the defects. But Archie never filed an amended
petition, and, as a result, the trial court dismissed
Archie's claims without prejudice.
three issues, Archie contends that the trial court abused its
discretion in denying him the opportunity to file an amended
petition, in refusing to rule on his motion for an extension
of time to respond to the Center's special exceptions,
and in refusing to rule on his motion for an extension of
time to file an amended petition.
October 12, 2016, Archie filed a pro se original petition
against the Center, alleging that the Center negligently
failed to treat his wife's mental illness, which led to
the death of their unborn child. Archie asserted claims under
the Texas Tort Claims Act, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code
§§ 101.001-.109, and the Emergency Medical
Treatment and Active Labor Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd.
November 7, 2017, the Center filed special exceptions
identifying a variety of substantive defects in Archie's
petition. The Center set the special exceptions for hearing
on a date not reflected in the record.
November 27, 2017, Archie filed a motion for an extension of
time to respond to the Center's special exceptions,
requesting that the trial court extend his response deadline
to January 5, 2018. Archie did not set the motion for
days later, on November 29, 2017, the Center reset the
hearing on its special exceptions to January 25, 2018. The
Center then filed a response to Archie's motion for an
extension of time to respond to the special exceptions. In
its response, the Center stated that it had reset the hearing
on its special exceptions and that Archie's request for
an extension was therefore moot, as the new hearing date
afforded Archie even more time to respond than he had
December 20, 2017, the trial court entered a docket control
order, ordering that the parties file all amendments and
supplements to pleadings by August 6, 2018.
January 25, 2018, the trial court sustained the Center's
special exceptions and ordered that Archie file an amended
petition curing the defects within 30 days. The trial court
warned Archie that failure to file an amended petition would
result in the dismissal of his claims. However, Archie did
not file an amended petition by the court-ordered, 30-day
deadline of February 24, 2018.
April 27, 2018, Archie notified the trial court that he
intended to file an amended petition on or before the August
6, 2018 pleadings deadline set in the docket control order.
Archie did not file an amended ...