ILHAM K. EL-SALEH AND MOHAMED MOOTI, Appellants
AHMAD ALDIRAWI, Appellee
the 85th District Court Brazos County, Texas Trial Court No.
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Neill
Ilham K. El-Saleh and Mohamed Mooti appeal the trial
court's order granting Appellee Ahmad Aldirawi's
motion to dismiss the counterclaim filed by them under the
Texas Citizens Participation Act ("TCPA"). Aldirawi
files a motion to dismiss this appeal for lack of
jurisdiction asserting that the order being appealed is a
non-appealable interlocutory order. El-Saleh and Mooti have
responded to the motion to dismiss. We grant Aldirawi's
motion and dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
Texas appellate courts possess jurisdiction only over final
judgments. Schlumberger Ltd. v. Rutherford, 472
S.W.3d 881, 886 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet.)
(citing Rusk State Hosp. v. Black, 392 S.W.3d 88, 92
(Tex. 2012)). The appellate courts have jurisdiction over an
interlocutory appeal only when authorized by statute. CMH
Homes v. Perez, 340 S.W.3d 444, 447 (Tex. 2011).
51.014(a)(12) of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code
authorizes an interlocutory appeal from an order denying a
motion to dismiss filed under Section 27.003 of the TCPA.
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §§
51.014(a)(12) and 27.003. See also Schlumberger, 472
S.W.3d at 886. However, there is no statute authorizing an
interlocutory appeal from an order granting a TCPA
motion to dismiss. Id.; see also Tex. Custom
Wine Works, LLC v. Talcott, No. 07-19-00186-CV, 2019 WL
3978580, at *1 (Tex. App.-Amarillo Aug. 22, 2019, no pet.)
(per curiam) (order of severance and dismissal)
("[T]here is no statute authorizing an appeal from an
interlocutory order granting a motion to dismiss filed under
the TCPA."); Seekra Realty, LLC v. Garner Paving
& Constr., Ltd., No. 14-18-00984-CV, 2019 WL 613530,
at *1 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 14, 2019, no pet.)
(mem. op.) ("No statutory authority exists . . . for an
interlocutory appeal from the grant of a motion to
dismiss under the TCPA.") (emphasis in original).
argue that an interlocutory appeal is permissible under TCPA
We disagree. That statute provides that "[a]n appellate
court shall expedite an appeal or other writ, whether
interlocutory or not, from a trial court order on a motion to
dismiss a legal action under Section 27.003 or from a trial
court's failure to rule on that motion in the time
prescribed by Section 27.005." Tex. Civ. Prac. &
Rem. Code § 27.008(b). It does not expressly confer a
right to interlocutory appeal.
Schlumberger, 472 S.W.3d at 887.
Schlumberger court notes, prior to the enactment of
Section 51.014(a)(12) in 2013, "the only statute
explicitly providing for interlocutory appeals related to
TCPA motions was Section 27.008(a) of the Civil Practice and
Remedies Code, providing that the moving party could appeal
when a TCPA motion to dismiss was denied by operation of
law." Id. at 886. Section 51.014(a)(12) was
evidently enacted to resolve a split in authority regarding
"whether a party could also bring an interlocutory
appeal from a trial court's order on such a motion."
Id. at 886-87. Section 51.014(a)(12) now expressly
permits an interlocutory appeal only from an order denying a
motion to dismiss. Id. at 887. "By contrast, no
statute expressly provides for interlocutory appeal of an
order that grants such a motion." Id.
argument regarding the statutory construction of the TCPA is
Our primary objective when construing a statute is to give
effect to the intent of the Legislature, "which, when
possible, we discern from the plain meaning of the words
chosen." State v. Shumake, 199 S.W.3d 279, 284
(Tex. 2006). Provided a statute is unambiguous, we adopt the
interpretation its plain language supports unless that
interpretation would lead to absurd results. TGS-NOPEC
Geophysical Co. v. Combs, 340 S.W.3d 432, 439 (Tex.
2011). We do not construe section 27.008(b) in isolation or
without regard for section 51.014(a)(12). See
Schlumberger Ltd. v. Rutherford, 472 S.W.3d 881, 887
(Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet.). In light of
section 51.014(a)(12), section 27.008(b) cannot be read to
authorize an interlocutory appeal by either party of an order
granting dismissal under section 27.003.
Schlumberger, 472 S.W.3d at 887 (stating that §
27.008(b) "does not expressly confer a right to
interlocutory appeal"). Rather, we find section
27.008(b) requires a court of appeals to expedite the appeal
of an order under section 27.003, whether it is from the
denial of a motion to dismiss immediately appealable under
section 51.014(a)(12), or from a final judgment resulting
from the grant of a motion to dismiss.
Trane US, Inc. v. Sublett,
501 S.W.3d 783, 786 (Tex.
App. - Amarillo 2016, no pet.) ...