What Is a Bill of Review In Texas ?

A bill of review is an independent, equitable action brought by the petitioner to a former action seeking to set aside a judgment that is no longer appealable or subject to challenge by a motion for new trial. See In re T.R.R., a Minor Child, 986 S.W.2d 31, 35 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 1998, no pet.) (citing Ortega v. First RepublicBank Fort Worth, N.A., 792 S.W.2d 452, 453 (Tex. 1990)). To prevail on a bill of review, the petitioner must ordinarily show: (1) he had a meritorious claim or defense; (2) that he was prevented from asserting by the fraud, accident, or mistake of the opposing party, or official mistake; (3) unmixed with any fault or negligence of her own. See id. The petitioner must state sworn facts sufficient to constitute a meritorious claim or defense and, as a pretrial matter, present prima facie proof to support his contention. In re T.R.R., 986 S.W.2d at 35 (citing 1985 Chevrolet Pickup Truck, 778 S.W.2d 463, 464 (Tex. 1989)). The burden on the petitioner is heavy because the administration of justice requires that judgments be accorded some finality. See Herrera v. Wembley Inv. Co., 12 S.W.3d 83, 90 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1998, no pet.) (citing Alexander v. Hagedorn, 148 Tex. 565, 226 S.W.2d 996, 998 (Tex. 1950)). Thus, the grounds upon which bills of review are granted are narrow and restricted. Id.