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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11842
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Do I have to file a motion for a bill of review to the court

Customer Question

Do I have to file a motion for a bill of review to the court that made the judgment to obtain one?
JA: Is this motion in state court or federal court? What is being sought?
Customer: State District court. The court has no plenary power in the case because of the time passed. I'm trying to obtain a bill of review so that I can get the court to reverse the judgment.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I filed a Motion to re-instate but was denied because the court had no plenary power.
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 2 months ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed attorney with 37 years’ extensive experience in family law, trials, appeals, contracts, landlord-tenant, and other types of law.

This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also, I’d like to review your question for a minute and type your answer. If I am not here for a few minutes, that means I am typing your answer. THIS IS NOT YOUR ANSWER YET so please allow me time to type it up for you. It may take a few minutes, so please understand that. Thanks!

I take it that the time to appeal or make the motion for a new trial has passed?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
that is correct. The court has no Plenary powers in this case.
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 2 months ago.

Okay thank you. I just got off a phone call so I'm sorry I wasn't here at the moment.

I'm an appellate attorney so procedure is what I am all about.

You can file a bill of review -- A bill of review is an independent equitable action brought by a party to a former action seeking to set aside a judgment, which is no longer appealable or subject to motion for new trial.

You may want to get an attorney for this because there are several things that need to be included in this action for it to succeed.

Would you like me to give you information about a bill of review?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 2 months ago.

I'm going to assume you want that information.

The bill must state sufficient cause. Ordinarily, to establish sufficient cause, a defendant-petitioner must demonstrate: (1) a meritorious defense; (2) justification for the failure
to assert that defense; and (3) that the default judgement was not rendered due to the fault or
negligence of the defendant-petitioner. The petitioner must normally show that he exercised due diligence to assert all adequate legal remedies before filing the bill of review. However, the absence of proper service will not allow the availability of a bill of review.

A bill of review is an equitable proceeding to set aside a judgment that is no longer appealable or subject
to a motion for new trial. Although it is an equitable proceeding, the fact that an injustice may have occurred is not sufficient to justify relief by bill of review. You must show that you exercised due diligence to pursue all adequate legal remedies against a judgment and, at the time the bill is filed, there is no adequate legal remedy available.

You will want an attorney to help you with this. I don’t always say to get a lawyer, but in this instance I would. We aren't allowed to refer to any particular lawyer. However, what I do here, which helps my customers tremendously, is I give you a list of lawyers in your area and I'll show you how easy it is to pick one. I have a short, easy to understand free guide and it will show you what to look for in an attorney. I will also look for LegalAid and pro bono attorneys in your area if you tell me to do that. I just need to know where to look. The bigger the city the better. My customers tell me they have found great lawyers from my information. This part is free of charge -- I do this as a courtesy to my customers here. Just let me know if you want this information.

Does this answer your question or would you like more information?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 2 months ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you. Do you want me to look for lawyers for you who will take this type of case?