Hernandez v. Lopez – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Hernandez v. Lopez, 288 S.W.3d 180 (Tex. App.--Houston 1st Dist. 2009, no pet.), a child-support enforcement hearing was held before a master. Hernandez, 288 S.W.3d at 182.

The mother, the father, and the Office of the Attorney General of Texas signed an agreed order reflecting a mistake, specifically, a finding that the father was in arrears in the amount of $51,000.00 as of December 31, 2004, a date eleven months in the future from the time when the agreed order was signed. Id.

The trial court then signed the agreed order. Id.

There was no record of any hearing at the time the trial court signed it. Id.

Two years later, the Office of the Attorney General moved for judgment nunc pro tunc, alleging that the date reflected in the agreed order should have read December 31, 2003. Id. at 182-83.

The trial court granted the motion and entered judgment nunc pro tunc. Id. at 183.

On appeal, the Court stated:

"The terms of the Agreed Order were set forth by the parties, and the Agreed Order states that the master submitted "the proposed" Agreed Order to the trial court and recommended its approval. On January 27, 2004, when the trial court signed the Agreed Order adopting the master's recommendation as the order of the court, rendition of the judgment occurred. The error at issue herein, if any, occurred in the rendering of the judgment." Id. at 185-86.

Finding no evidence in the record that the trial court actually rendered judgment before signing the agreed order, this court vacated the judgment nunc pro tunc. Id. at 187-88.