In Ryland Enterprises, Inc. v. Weatherspoon, No. 11–0189, 2011 WL 6276127 (Tex. 2011), Vickie Weatherspoon (“Plaintiff”) sued Ryland Enterprise, Inc. (“Defendant”).
On May 4, 2010, the jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff.
On May 25, 2010, after the jury verdict, but before the judgment was signed, Defendant filed a JNOV motion on legal insufficiency grounds.
On June 14, 2010, the trial court signed a judgment for Plaintiff, initiating the appellate time table. The judgment also denied Defendant’s JNOV motion.
On August 18, 2010, sixty-five days after the judgment was signed, Defendant filed a notice of appeal in the trial court.
Plaintiff moved to dismiss the appeal as untimely because the notice was filed beyond the thirty-day deadline that applies if none of the motions listed in Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 26.1(a) are filed. The court of appeals granted the motion. The court of appeals held that although a JNOV motion may extend the appellate timetable to ninety days in some circumstances, it only does so if filed after the judgment is signed, and not before. The Texas Supreme Court disagreed.
One issue before the Texas Supreme Court was whether the filing a motion to modify the judgment before the judgment is signed extends the deadline for filing a notice of appeal to ninety days.
The Supreme Court held that filing a motion to modify the judgment before the judgment is signed extends the deadline for filing a notice of appeal to ninety days.