Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-20-00979-CV (March 15, 2021)
Chief Justice Burns (Opinion) and Justices Molberg and Goldstein
Pursuant to a settlement agreement, the trial court dismissed the underlying case. Five months later, the court reinstated the case based on a claimed breach of the settlement, and entered the injunction orders forming the basis of the appeal.
After asking for jurisdictional briefing, the appeals court determined that the COVID-19 orders presuppose a “pre-existing power or authority over the case or the proceedings,” something the trial court lacked after the expiration of its plenary power. There was, simply, nothing for the court to “modify or suspend.” Therefore, the orders reinstating the case and granting the injunction were void. The Court vacated them and dismissed the appeal for want of jurisdiction.