Some confusion exists about when the parties should comply with the appellate court’s decision after the moment the said decision has been declared.
The principle is spelled out for the hastened appeals. In those scenarios, the court of appeals’ judgment takes effect once the mandate is issued. Watch Tex.. R. App. P. 18.6. In fast appeals, which can be broadly speaking interlocutory, the appellate court frequently issues the mandate with the verdict, leaving no uncertainty about when the conclusion has to be observed.
Unlike interlocutory appeals — which deals with ongoing cases where the trial court usually keeps authority to make additional orders — a trial court usually takes no actions after it sheds plenary power over the last judgment. After power is lost, and appellate authority has been attached, the case goes exclusively to the appellate court.
The confusion arises as the mandate is not usually issued instantly. The appellate court’s ruling becomes final when the mandate appears, but there might be a considerable time between the ruling being declared and the issue of the mandate. The cause of this gap is to avoid contradictory conclusions from the trial and the appellate courts.
Back in 2009, the Texas Supreme Court failed to set an overall rule, describing the question as difficult under Texas laws and processes Watch Edwards Aquifer Auth. v. Chemical Lime, Ltd., 291 S.W.3d 392, 394 (Tex. 2009). The doubt brought a conflicting meeting of minds between Justices Brister and Willett. Justice Brister opined what matters is the ruling. Justice Willett reasoned that “the best default date is that the mandate”.
10 years after Chemical Lime, the concern still has not yet been answered definitively. Until it’s, parties must not assume that a court’s ruling is final and enforceable before the mandate is issued.