Appeal before answer?

In re Moore and Newsome (Published): It’ not often you see a case in the court of appeals before an answer has been filed.  But it happens.

Moore and Newsome did some suing in Anderson County.  The opinion doesn’t say who they were suing or why.  In any event, they say they asked the district clerk to issue citation, but she wouldn’t. They say they asked the trial judge to rule on some motions, but he wouldn’t.   They say they asked the regional presiding judge to get them a new trial judge, but he didn’t.

So they bring a mandamus proceeding in Tyler.

The Tyler court says:

1. It has no mandamus jurisdiction over district clerks except to preserve its own jurisdiction (e.g., when the court of appeals needs the clerk’s record in a pending appeal).

2. It does have jurisdiction over the trial judge. But Moore and Newsome didn’t present the record to the Tyler court, so the Tyler court has no way to look at the motions to see if the trial judge had a reasonable time to rule.

3. It has no mandamus jurisdiction over the regional presiding judge.

All relief requested by Moore and Newsome is denied.

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