Rule 329b Texas Interpretation

Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 329b(g) does not state that a motion must explicitly request a change in a judgment in order to have the effect of a motion for new trial. In Gomez v. Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 896 S.W.2d 176, 176 (Tex. 1995) (per curiam) the Court held that a bill of review filed within thirty days of the date a judgment was signed should be treated as a motion for new trial because the bill of review "assailed the trial court's judgment." Any filing that could have that effect should extend the trial court's plenary power and the appellate deadlines. Moreover, there is nothing the debates over Rule 329b to suggest that the drafters had in mind anything other than the simplest procedure that could be devised. Their over-arching concern was that post-judgment procedures be clear, certain, and simple. When members of the Advisory Committee were uncertain whether they had achieved those goals, final approval of the rules was deferred, notwithstanding the immense amount of work that had already been devoted to them. It is inconceivable that the Advisory Committee, meeting with several members of the Court, would have intended by the straightforward language of Rule 329b(g) a procedure as byzantine as the Court adopts today.