Restricted Appeals in Texas
The availability of relief by restricted appeal is primarily governed by Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 30, which states:
“A party who did not participate—either in person or through counsel—in the
hearing that resulted in the judgment complained of and who did not timely file
a postjudgment motion or request for findings of fact and conclusions of law,
or a notice of appeal within the time permitted by Rule 26.1(a), may file a
notice of appeal within the time permitted by Rule 26.1(c).”
Tex. RS. APP. P. 30.
In a restricted appeal, the notice of appeal must be filed within six months after the judgment or order is signed. Tex. RS. APP. P. 26.1(c).
A restricted appeal is a direct attack on the trial court’s judgment. Gen. Elec. Co. v. Falcon Ridge Apartments Joint Venture, 811 S.W.2d 942, 943 (Tex. 1991); Sutton v. Hisaw & Assoc. Gen. Contractors, Inc., 65 S.W.3d 281, 284 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2001, pet. Denied).
To obtain reversal of an underlying judgment in a restricted appeal, a party must satisfy four requirements: the appeal must (1) be brought within six months after the trial court signs the judgment (2) by a party to the suit (3) who did not participate in the actual trial, and (4) the error complained of must be apparent on the face of the record. Goodman v. Wachovia Bank, Nat. Ass’n, 260 S.W.3d 699, 701 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2008) (citing Tex. RS. APP. P. 26.1(c), 30; Norman Commc’ns v. Tex. Eastman, Co, 955 S.W.2d 269, 270 (Tex. 1997); Dolly v. Aethos Commc’ns Sys., Inc., 10 S.W.3d 384, 387-88 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2000, no pet.).
The face of the record consists of all of the papers on file in the appeal. Norman Commc’ns, 955 S.W.2d at 270.
Each requirement for bringing an appeal by writ of error (currently known as restricted appeal) is mandatory and jurisdictional. Serna v. Webster, 908 S.W.2d 487, 491 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1995).
The rule governing appeal by writ of error in civil cases to the Court of Appeals should be liberally construed in favor of the right to appeal. Stubbs v. Stubbs, 685 S.W.2d 643, 645 (Tex. 1985).