Dismissed and Memorandum Opinion filed November 15, 2007
Barney L. McCoy v. North Forest independent School District and Janice Jackson--Appeal from Co Civil Ct at Law No 3 of Harris County
Dismissed and Memorandum Opinion filed November 15, 2007.
Fourteenth Court of Appeals
BARNEY L. McCOY, Appellant
NORTH FOREST INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
and JANICE JACKSON, Appellees
On Appeal from the County Civil Court at Law No. 3
Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 720325
M E M O R A N D U M O P I N I O N
Barney L. McCoy attempts to appeal from an order signed March 20, 2007, denying his motion to reinstate the underlying case, in which an order of non-suit was signed May 24, 2001. McCoy filed a motion for rehearing of the denial of his motion to reinstate, and he filed a notice of appeal on June 13, 2007. We dismiss the appeal for want of jurisdiction.
Janice Jackson filed suit against the school district seeking judicial review of a final decision of the Texas Workers= Compensation Commission. McCoy was Jackson=s attorney. Pursuant to a settlement agreement, Jackson moved to non-suit the school district, and the trial court signed an order of non-suit on May 24, 2001. On March 1, 2007, McCoy, as a AParty in Interest,@ moved to reinstate the case, claiming the school district refused to honor the settlement because the underlying judgment is void. Section 410.258(a) of the Texas Labor Code requires any proposed judgment or settlement to be mailed to the executive director of the Workers= Compensation Commission at least 30 days before the judgment is entered. It is undisputed that the proposed judgment was not sent to the director in this case. Section 410.258(f) provides that A[a] judgment entered or settlement approved without complying with the requirements of this section is void.@ Tex. Lab. Code Ann. ' 410.258(f).
Because it appeared from the record that this court lacks jurisdiction to consider an appeal from a case in which a non-suit was signed in 2001, we notified the parties of our intention to dismiss the appeal for want of jurisdiction unless McCoy filed a response demonstrating both our jurisdiction over this appeal and his standing to bring the appeal as an AInterested Party.@ See Tex. R. App. P. 42.3(a). McCoy=s response fails to demonstrate that this court has jurisdiction over the appeal.
As to his standing to bring this appeal, McCoy asserts that Jackson=s current attorney gave his permission, on Jackson=s behalf, for him to pursue having the trial court set aside its void judgment. McCoy was not a party to the suit and does not have standing to pursue this appeal. See Gore v. Peck, 191 S.W.3d 927, 929 (Tex. App.CDallas 2006, no pet.); Johnston v. Crook, 93 S.W.3d 262, 268-69 (Tex. App.CHouston [1st Dist.] 2002, pet. denied).
On the jurisdictional question, McCoy cites to Metropolitan Transit Authority v. Jackson, for the proposition a trial court may set aside its void judgment at any time. 212 S.W.3d 797, 802 (Tex. App.CHouston [1st Dist.] 2006, pet. denied). We respectfully disagree with our sister court. The Texas Supreme Court explicitly disapproved of the proposition that Aif a judgment rendered by a trial court is void it may be set aside by that court at any time.@ Middleton v. Murff, 689 S.W.2d 212, 213 (Tex. 1985). After the time has passed to timely file a motion for new trial or regular appeal, the exclusive means by which parties can challenge a final judgment based on an allegation that it is void are by filing a writ of error (now restricted appeal) or by filing a bill of review. McEwen v. Harrison, 345 S.W.2d 706, 709 11 (Tex. 1961); Skadden v. Alfonso, 217 S.W.3d 611, 619 (Tex. App.CHouston [14 Dist.] 2006, pet. filed).
In its response, the school district agrees that the May 24, 2001, judgment is void for failure to comply with section 410.258 of the Labor Code. It contends, however, that the notice requirement in the Labor Code is a statutory prerequisite and failure to comply did not deprive the trial court of jurisdiction. See Dubai Pet. Co. v. Kazi, 12 S.W.3d 71, 71 (Tex. 2000). Even a void judgment can become final for the purposes of appeal. See Newsom v. Ballinger I.S.D., 213 S.W.3d 375, 380 (Tex. App.CAustin 2006, no pet.); In re Vlasak, 141 S.W.3d 233, 238 (Tex. App.CSan Antonio 2004, orig. proceeding).
The May 24, 2001, judgment is final. McCoy=s motion to reinstate was untimley. The trial court=s order denying McCoy=s untimely motion to reinstate the case is not a separately appealable order from which the appellate timetable is calculated. See Weik v. Second Baptist Church, 988 S.W.2d 437, 438 (Tex. App.CHouston [1st Dist.] 1999, pet. denied) (holding that deadline for perfecting appeal runs from date of dismissal order, not from date of trial court=s ruling on motion to reinstate); Overka v. Bauri, No. 14 06 00083 CV, 2006 WL 2074688, at *1 (Tex. App.CHouston [14 Dist.] July 27, 2006, no pet.) (mem. op.) (order denying motion for new trial is not appealable). Therefore, the notice of appeal was filed too late to appeal the judgment in this case.
Accordingly, the appeal is ordered dismissed.
Judgment rendered and Memorandum Opinion filed November 15, 2007.
Panel consists of Chief Justice Hedges and Justices Anderson and Seymore.