Did You Know . . . ?

by JoAnn Storey

There is a split of authority among the courts of appeals as to whether mandamus will lie to review the interlocutory granting of a bill of review. Compare In re Polio Gordo, Inc., 373 S.W.3d 107, 109B10 (Tex.App.─San Antonio 2012, orig. proceeding) (holding that mandamus will lie to review interlocutory grant of bill of review), In re Spiller, 303 S.W.3d 426, 431 (Tex.App.─Waco 2010, orig. proceeding) (same), and Schnitzius v. Koons, 813 S.W.2d 213, 218 (Tex.App.─Dallas 1991, orig. proceeding) (same), with In re Moreno, 4 S.W.3d 278, 281 (Tex.App.─Houston [14th Dist.] 1999, orig. proceeding) (holding that mandamus will not lie to review interlocutory grant of bill of review), Tex. Mex. Ry. Co. v. Hunter, 726 S.W.2d 616, 617B18 (Tex.App.─Corpus Christi 1987, orig. proceeding) (same), Stettner v. Apollo Paint & Body Shop, Inc., Nos. 01B02B00667BCV & 01B02B00204BCV, 2002 WL 1586282, at *1 (Tex.App.─Houston [1st Dist.] July 18, 2002, orig. proceeding, no pet.) (combined mandamus and appeal) (not designated for publication) (same); Patrick O'Connor & Assoc., L.P. v. Wang Inv. Networks, Inc., Nos. 01B12B00615BCV & 01B12B00976BCV, 2013 WL 1451358, at *2 (Tex.App.─Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, orig. proceeding, no pet.) (combined mandamus and appeal) (mem. op.) (same); and Ott v. Files, No. 03B00B00612BCV, 2000 WL 1675737, at *1 (Tex.App.─Austin 2000, no pet.) (not designated for publication) (same, in dictum).

This First Court of Appeals has recognized only one exception to the general rule that the interlocutory grant of a bill of review is not subject to mandamus review. In the context of a paternity suit in which genetic testing was ordered before retrial in a bill of review proceeding, the Court determined that the parameters of what constitutes an inadequate remedy by appeal were satisfied. See In re Office of Atty. Gen., 276 S.W.3d 611, 621 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2008, orig. proceeding). The Court reasoned, "[O]nce the [paternity] test results are divulged, the information they contain cannot be retracted, any resulting harm to the child may be irreparable. The benefits to mandamus review in this context thus outweigh the detriments." Id. at 622.