The Right to Take a Nonsuit - Texas Rule 162

Generally, plaintiffs have the right under rule 162 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure to take a nonsuit at any time until they have introduced all evidence other than rebuttal evidence. See In re Bennett, 960 S.W.2d 35, 38 (Tex. 1997). Such a nonsuit may have the effect of vitiating earlier interlocutory orders and of precluding further action by the trial court, with some notable exceptions. See id. However, the signing of an order dismissing a case, not the filing of a notice of nonsuit, is the starting point for determining when a trial court's plenary power expires. See id. Appellate timetables do not run from the date a nonsuit is filed, but rather from the date the trial court signs an order of dismissal. See id.; Farmer v. Ben E. Keith Co., 907 S.W.2d 495, 496 (Tex. 1995); Goodchild v. Bombardier-Rotax GMBH Motorenfabrick, 979 S.W.2d 1, 6 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, pet. denied).