Court abused its discretion by dismissing for want of prosecution says 4th Court of Appeals.

Deanira Morales v. Cotulla Independent School District, 04-13-00363-CV (Tex. App. — San Antonio, May 21, 2014).

While this is a Whistleblower case, it is probably only going to be of interest to litigators since it turns on procedural aspects unrelated to the merits or type of case. Essentially, the trial court dismissed Morales’ case after having set it on the dismissal docket. Morales’ lawyer filed a motion to reinstate, which was denied. She appealed asserting the trial court is required to reinstate as long as it does not find the failure to prosecute the case was intentional or not due to misstate or indifference.  After going through a detailed analysis of Rule 6, Rule 165a, and the specific facts, the court determined the trial court abused its discretion in failing to reinstate, specifically pointing to the language of 165a noting the court “shall” reinstate.

If you would like to read this opinion click here. Panel: Justice Marion, Justice Martinez, and Justice Chapa. Opinion by Justice Chapa. The attorney for Morales is listed as George J. Altgelt.  The attorneys for the ISD are listed as D. Craig Wood and Stacy Adoree Tuer Castillo.