Dueitt v. Arrowhead Lakes Prop. Owners, Inc – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Dueitt v. Arrowhead Lakes Prop. Owners, Inc., 180 S.W.3d 733 (Tex. App.--Waco 2005, pet. denied), the Waco Court of Appeals addressed whether the trial court's failure to hold an oral hearing on the plaintiffs' motion to reinstate constituted reversible error when the plaintiffs had received notice and a hearing on the defendant's earlier motion to dismiss for want of prosecution. See 180 S.W.3d at 741.

The court noted that a motion to reinstate "ensures that the dismissed party has received due process, because participation in the reinstatement hearing cures any due process concerns." Id.

The court determined that the plaintiffs had received due process because they "received adequate notice" of the hearing on the motion to dismiss, and they had the opportunity to respond to the motion to dismiss "which is all that due process requires." Id.

The court reasoned, "If participation in a motion to reinstate cures any due process error in the original hearing on the motion to dismiss, we do not see why the reverse should not also be true." Id.

The court thus concluded that if the trial court satisfied due process by holding a hearing on the original motion to dismiss, then the trial court's failure to hold a hearing on the subsequent motion to reinstate was harmless. Id.

In holding that the trial court's failure to hold a hearing did not constitute reversible error, the Dueitt court also pointed out that "the Dueitts did not promulgate any new arguments or advocate the discovery of new evidence supporting their claims in their motion to reinstate." Id.