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A timely request for findings of fact and conclusions of law extends the appellate timetable (Tex. R. App. P 26.1(a)(4)), but it does not extend the trial court’s plenary power to act beyond the 30-day period after the final judgment is signed. In re Gillespie, 124 S.W.3d 699, 703–04 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, orig. proceeding) (en banc), overruling Electronic Power Desgin, Inc. v. R.A. Hanson Co., 821 S.W.2d 170 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1991, no writ); Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America, Ltd. v. Gamez, 151 S.W.3d 574, 592 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2004, no pet.); Munir Bata, L.L.C. v. Vestal, 2010 WL 2367509 *1 n.1 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2010, pet. denied).

The courts reason that, unlike a motion for new trial or a motion to modify the judgment (which extend the trial court's plenary power under Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b(c)), the request for findings of fact “does not assail the trial court’s judgment; it merely seeks an explanation of the judgment.” Pursley v. Ussery, 982 S.W.2d 596, 599 n.2 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1998, pet. denied). See also Lane Bank Equip. Co. v. Smith Southern Equip., Inc., 10 S.W.3d 308, 313 (Tex. 2000) (only motion seeking substantive change extends the trial court’s plenary power).

-- JoAnn Storey


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