Canceling a Judge Order After His Authority Has Been Expired

In Ex parte Eastland, 811 S.W.2d 571 (Tex. 1991), the Texas Supreme Court held that an order of contempt was void, because the judge's actions exceeded the scope of his assignment. Pursuant to TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN. 75.002(c), the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court had assigned Judge Ashworth to preside over a case in the 66th District Court. By its terms, the assignment was to continue only as long as necessary to complete the trial of the case and to pass on any motions for new trial. Since no motion for new trial was filed in the case, Judge Ashworth's authority expired thirty days after judgment. The order of contempt and commitment is void since Judge Ashworth had no authority to enter the order. Ex parte Eastland, 811 S.W.2d at 572; see also First City Bank of Houston v. Salinas, 754 S.W.2d 497, 498 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 1988, orig. proceeding) (Assigned judge's jurisdiction or authority over the underlying cause had lapsed.).