Int'l Fidelity Ins. Co. v. Texas (original by judge richardson)Annotate this Case
Appellant International Fidelity Insurance Company (Agent: Glenn Strickland) DBA A-1 Bonding, appealed the trial court’s denial of its motion for new trial in a bond forfeiture proceeding arising out of a criminal case. Appellant posted three bonds, in the amount of $30,000 each, for Defendant Israel Fernando Rivera. When Rivera failed to appear for a court hearing, the trial court entered a final judgment against Rivera, and the clerk’s office issued a bill of costs. Appellant timely filed a motion for new trial and a motion to retax costs. The trial court held a hearing on Appellant’s motion for new trial, at which the parties announced that a court reporter was needed. A court reporter was called into the courtroom and appeared to transcribe the proceedings, evidence was offered, and, believing the hearing had been transcribed, the attorneys exchanged contact information with the court reporter. After the trial court denied Appellant’s motion, Appellant timely filed a notice of appeal and timely requested a reporter’s record. But no reporter’s record was filed. At the state’s request, the court of appeals abated the appeal and remanded to the trial court to determine whether: (1) a reporter’s record was created; (2) that record was lost or destroyed; (3) that record was necessary to resolve the appeal; and (4) the parties could agree on a replacement of the lost or destroyed record. The trial court found that the hearing “was not stenographically or otherwise recorded” and was “neither lost nor destroyed.” The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling, holding that Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 34.6(f) did not afford Appellant relief because Appellant could not show that the hearing had been recorded, and Appellant failed to show the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motion for a new trial. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the court of appeals.