Twelfth Court of Appeals
Tips & Guidelines
1. All Appeals Are Perfected by Notice of Appeal
- Any party seeking to alter the trial court's judgment must file his/her own notice of appeal. Tex. R. App. P. 25.1(c). Check Tex. R. App. P. rules 25.1 and 25.2 to see what must be contained in the notice of appeal.
- 2. Docketing Statements
- Tex. R. App. P. 32 requires every Appellant to file a docketing statement containing bare-bones information about the appeal. This rule is mandatory. If no docketing statement is filed, in a civil case, your appeal will be dismissed after notice; in a criminal appeal, the case will be remanded to the trial court for a hearing so you can explain your failure to the trial judge. The 12th Court of Appeals' Docketing Statement may be downloaded from this website - it is located under Forms.
- 3. Designate Your Clerk's Record and Request Preparation of the Reporter's Record
- The Trial Court Transcript is referred to as the "Clerk's Record" and the Statement of Facts is the "Reporter's Record." Unless you otherwise designate, the clerk's record will include the items set forth in Tex. R. App. P. 34.5(a); make sure you request any additional items needed. See Tex. R. App. P. 34.5(b). Moreover, the reporter will not prepare a reporter's record until you have requested it in writing. Follow the steps set forth in Tex. R. App. P. 34.6(b). Once you've properly requested the record and made arrangements for payment, the clerk and reporter are responsible for requesting and obtaining any extensions of time to file it. Tex. R. App. P. 35.
- 4. The Record: Review It As Soon as You Receive Notice that It Has Been Filed
- Once our Clerk's Office receives a clerk's record and a reporter's record, we assume it contains the whole record unless you notify us otherwise. Once you have been notified that the record has been filed, you are then under a duty to promptly inform the court if supplementation is needed. Failure to promptly inform the court that the record is incomplete may result in unnecessary delays in submitting the appeal, and may cause the court to deny a request for extension of time on your brief.
- 6. Issues Presented Are an Alternative to Points of Error under Tex. R. App. P. 38.1(e)
- This allows you to characterize your complaints more broadly. You can now raise your issues in Ouija board format, for example: "If an attorney fails to do x, y, and z for his client, has he provided effective assistance of counsel?"
- 7. Extension Motions: Necessary Information When Requesting Brief Extensions
- The court needs to know specifically why you need more time to prepare your brief. Simply saying you are too busy or listing every case you have worked on for the past 90 days is not considered sufficient reason for an extension. Explain in some detail that you are going to be in trial in cause number X, or that you are going to be on vacation or at a CLE conference, etc. File your extension as soon as you can, so the court can inform you in plenty of time as to whether your motion has been granted in whole or in part.
- 8. Perfecting Documents
- If you receive notice that your perfecting document was untimely filed, you must establish that you timely mailed it under Tex. R. App. P. 9.2 or your appeal will be dismissed. In the event you use a carrier other than those specified, proof of mailing requires an uncontested affidavit stating that you timely mailed the document. The affidavit should be accompanied by the appropriate mailing slip from the carrier.
- 9. Mandamus Proceedings
- Tex. R. App. P. 52. The requirements for filing a petition for writ of mandamus are contained in Tex. R. App. P. 52. A motion for leave to file a petition for writ of mandamus is not required. However, be certain that your petition, brief, and appendix satisfy the requirements listed in Tex. R. App. P. 52.1 et seq. Additionally, be certain that you file a separate record under Rule 52.7. The record is not the same as an appendix. The record should be separately bound and should contain the information required under Tex. R. App. P. 52.7.