Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
Appeal from the 191st Judicial District Court Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. C-16-16429
appeal challenges the trial court's July 30, 2019 order
on the City of Dallas's plea to the jurisdiction. The
order lists thirty claims asserted by appellant and
specifically grants the plea as to twenty-nine of the claims.
As to the thirtieth claim, the order reads as follows:
GRANTED/DENIED as to Plaintiff's disparate treatment
gender discrimination claim based on Plaintiff's
reassignment from first watch at the Crime Reduction Team
("CRT") to third watch at the Fusion Center
("Fusion") and the corresponding change in shift
order concludes with the following language:
It is accordingly ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that the
preceding claims as to which the City's Plea has been
granted are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as to their refiling.
The preceding claims as to which the City's Plea has been
denied are ALLOWED TO GO FORWARD.
appeal was filed as a regular appeal on August 23, 2019,
twenty-four days after the order was signed, but, in a
"suggestion of uncertain appellate jurisdiction,"
the City asserts the appeal is accelerated and requires an
extension motion reasonably explaining why the notice of
appeal was not filed within twenty days of the order.
See Tex. R. App. P. 26.1(b) (requiring accelerated
appeals be filed within twenty days of signing of order);
26.3 (allowing fifteen-day extension to file notice of appeal
provided extension motion is filed). The City reasons the
order on the plea, having failed to address one of
appellant's claims, is, on its face, interlocutory.
See Young v. BellaPalma, L.L.C., 566 S.W.3d 829, 833
(Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2018, pet. filed)
("A judgment that does not actually dispose of all
parties and claims is interlocutory[.]"); see
also Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §
51.014(a)(8) (allowing appeal from interlocutory order
granting governmental unit's plea to jurisdiction);
Tex.R.App.P. 28.1(a) (providing that appeals from
interlocutory orders are accelerated).
construed the City's "suggestion of uncertain
appellate jurisdiction" as a motion to dismiss and
directed appellant to file a response. In her response,
appellant argues the trial court intended the order to be
final and her notice of appeal was timely filed as a regular
order here is conflicting. On the one hand, it appears to be
interlocutory because it fails to rule on the plea as to one
of appellant's claims. On the other hand, it appears
final in that it strikes through the language stating that
the "claims as to which the City's plea has been
denied" may proceed.
as here, an order's finality is not "clear and
unequivocal," a reviewing court must examine the record
to determine whether the trial court intended the order to be
final. See In re R.R.K., No. 18-0273, 2019 WL
6825953, at *3 (Tex. Dec. 13, 2019). The record here reflects
the trial court heard the plea on February 8, 2019 and took
the matter under advisement. The record further reflects a
hearing scheduled July 10, 2019 was canceled. An email from
the trial court clerk to the parties, attached as an exhibit
to appellant's response, explains the hearing was
canceled because the City's plea had been granted.
See Jones v. Griege, 803 S.W.2d 486, 488 (Tex.
App.-Dallas 1991, no writ) (noting appellate courts may
consider matters outside record to determine its
jurisdiction). Further, the docket sheet included in the
clerk's record states the case is closed and notes the
jury trial set October 21, 2019 was canceled because the case
facts before us, we agree with appellant that the trial court
intended the order to be final. See In re R.R.K.,
2019 WL 6825953, *6 (concluding, in part, that trial court
did not intend memorandum ruling to be final where record
showed that after trial court issued its memorandum, parties
entered into rule 11 agreement in anticipation of final order
being drafted, parties exchanged draft orders and later moved
to enter order conforming with memorandum, and trial court
held hearing on motions for entry). Because the order is
final, appellant's notice of appeal, filed within
twenty-four days of the order, was timely. See Tex.
R. App. P. 26.1. Accordingly, we DENY the
ORDER appellant to file her opening brief no