Don’t Sleep on Mandamus in Dallas

In re Ruff, No. 05-21-00886-CV (Tex. App.—Dallas February 15, 2022) Justices Molberg, Reichek (Opinion, linked here), and Garcia

In re Perez-Merino, No. 05-22-00082-CV (Tex. App.—Dallas February 14, 2022) Justices Schenck, Reichek (Opinion, linked here), and Carlyle

In re Tekin & Associates, LLC, No. 05-21-00219-CV (Tex. App.—Dallas February 9, 2022) Justices Osborne, Pedersen, III (Opinion, linked here), and Goldstein
There is no hard and fast deadline for filing a mandamus petition. But, although mandamus is not technically “an equitable remedy,” it is guided by principles of equity—including laches. And in the last week alone, the Dallas Court of Appeals has summarily denied three mandamus petitions for what it deemed to be excessive delays in filing. In each opinion the Court said, “[A]n unexplained delay of four months or more can constitute laches and result in denial of mandamus relief,” citing Rivercenter Associates v. Rivera, 858 S.W.2d 366 (Tex. 1993) (orig. proceeding), and decisions from the Dallas Court of Appeals and others to the same effect. With these three short, substantially identical opinions in a single week, the Court would seem to be signaling that, absent a good explanation, a delay of four months in filing for mandamus relief can (will?) trigger denial of a petition irrespective of the merits. Moral of the story: if you’re considering filing a mandamus in the Dallas Court of Appeals, get on with it.
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