Attorney General of Texas v. Orr
In Attorney General of Texas v. Orr, 989 S.W.2d 464 (Tex. App.--Austin 1999, no pet.), the Austin Court of Appeals addressed a very similar issue.
In that case, the Attorney General sought to enforce a child support order. Id. at 466.
The trial judge issued enforcement and wage withholding orders against Orr and placed him on probation. Id. The Attorney General then moved to have Orr's probation revoked, and Orr moved to set aside the orders. Id.
The case was referred to an associate judge, who conducted an evidentiary hearing and prepared a report. Id. at 467. The Attorney General filed a notice of appeal with the trial judge. Id. The trial judge adopted the associate judge's report without change and without holding a hearing de novo. Id.
The Austin Court of Appeals held that, under the Texas Family Code, the filing of a notice of appeal initiates an entirely new process before the trial judge, in which he or she makes an independent determination. Orr, 989 S.W.2d at 467-68.
The Austin Court further held that, for purposes of a restricted appeal, the "hearing that results in the judgment" occurs when the trial judge considers the matter. Id. at 468.