Back to Main Page / Back to List of Rules
Rule 387. Dismissal or Affirmance on Notice (1981)
(a) If an appeal or writ of error has been perfected, but is subject to dismissal for want of jurisdiction or for failure of appellant to comply with any requirements of these rules or any order of the court, the appellee may file a motion for dismissal or for affirmance and judgment for costs on the appeal bond or for the cash deposit. If the ground of the motion is failure to file the transcript, the motion shall be supported by certified or sworn copies of the judgment and the appeal bond or other document perfecting or attempting to perfect the appeal or writ of error.
(b) If it appears to the appellate court that an appeal or writ of error has been perfected, but is subject to dismissal for want of jurisdiction or for failure to comply with any requirements of these rules or any order of the court, the court may, on its own motion, give notice to all parties that the case will be dismissed unless the appellant, or any party desiring to continue the appeal or writ of error, files with the court within 10 days a response showing grounds for continuing the appeal or writ of error.
Amended by order of June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981: The rule has been rewritten to apply to all cases in which an appeal or writ of error, though perfected, is subject to dismissal for want of jurisdiction or for failure to comply with the rules or any order of the court, as well as to cases in which the judgment may be affirmed because of failure to prosecute the appeal or writ of error. Failure to comply with time requirements does not result in automatic loss of the appeal or writ of error.
|Prior Amendments||Future Amendments|
|Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941||Repealed by order of April 10, 1986, eff. Sept. 1, 1986|
|March 31, 1941, eff. Sept. 1, 1941|
(No. 55) Question: 1. Where an application for writ of error was filed and granted before the rules became effective, may the Supreme Court after such rules have become effective properly dismiss such an application without allowing an amendment, upon the ground that jurisdiction because of conflict of decisions is not correctly shown, and properly overrule a motion to amend in such respect?
2. How and under what circumstances may an application for writ of error in the Supreme Court be amended?
Answer: Rule 814 insofar as it is applicable reads: "These rules shall take effect on September 1, 1941. They shall govern all proceedings in actions brought after they take effect and also further proceedings in actions then pending.... "
We are of the opinion that motion to amend, as well as the overruling of such a motion and the dismissal of a writ of error, would be "further proceedings" as contemplated by the above rule.
Rule 1 requires that the rules be given a liberal construction "to obtain a just, fair, equitable and impartial adjudication of the rights of litigants under established principles of substantive law." It is the clear intent of Rules 481 and 504 that the appellate courts should allow reasonable amendments at any time to correct or amend defects or irregularities in want of form. Rule 437, which is applicable to the Courts of Civil Appeals, provides, in substance, that a judgment should not be affirmed or reversed or an appeal dismissed for defects or irregularities in appellate procedure, "either of form or substance, without allowing a reasonable time to correct or amend such defects or irregularities provided the court may make no enlargement of time prohibited by Rule 5 nor any enlargement of time for filing transcript or statement of facts except as contemplated by Rule 387." Rule 504, which specifically applies to the Supreme Court, is to the same effect as Rule 437, which, as stated, applies to actions pending in the Courts of Civil Appeals.
The committee strongly believes that Rules 437, 481, and 504 mark an advanced step in procedure, and that compliance with them will enable the courts in the future to dispose of cases on their merits and reduce to a minimum dismissals for technical procedural defects.
No purpose stands out in the rules with greater prominence than this, viz.; that the attainment of justice, according to the principles of substantive law, is the desideratum in every case; that the rules of procedure should expedite, and not frustrate, the trial of cases on their merit and that irregularities either in matters of form or substance should be, disregarded unless such indulgence and liberality will result in injustice.
Cochran v. Wool Growers Central Storage Co., 140 Tex. 904, 166 S.W.2d 904 (1943), which passes upon a motion to amend an application for writ of error is, we think, in accordance with the above views.
Where the question is raised as to whether the court should dismiss a granted writ of error because of fault in the wording or showing of the application we think that Rule 504, already cited; mandatorily conditions such an order upon the allowance of amendment, for such rule, insofar as here applicable, reads:
"The Supreme Court will not affirm or reverse a judgment or dismiss a writ of error for defects or irregularities in appellate procedure either of form or substance, without allowing a reasonable time to correct or amend such defects or irregularities... "
This mandatory provision for amendment only applies, however, where, the court bases its action upon some such fault.
For a feasible practice in this connection see Hodo v. Mexican Nat'l R.R. Co., 88 Tex. 523, 524, 32 S.W. 511 (1895), and Hilliard v. White, 88 Tex. 591, 593, 32 S.W. 525, 526 (1895).
6 Tex. B.J. 20 (1943) reprinted in 8 Tex. B.J. 30 (1945).