When Is a Document ''Filed'' In Court ?

In Jamar v. Patterson, 868 S.W.2d 318 (Tex. 1993) Texas Supreme Court stated a document is "filed" when it is first tendered to the clerk or otherwise put under the custody or control of the clerk. Id. at 319. In Biffle v. Morton Rubber Indus., Inc., 785 S.W.2d 143 (Tex. 1990), the Court held "an instrument is deemed in law filed at the time it is delivered to the clerk, regardless of whether the instrument is filemarked." Id. at 144. The purpose of this rule is to protect a diligent party from being penalized by the errors and omissions of the court clerk. Id. A long line of cases from the Texas Supreme Court have clearly addressed the issue of when an instrument is filed. In Coastal Banc SSB v. Helle, 988 S.W.2d 214 (Tex. 1999), the court considered whether a cash deposit in lieu of bond was timely filed for appellate jurisdiction. In reaching its conclusion, the court disregarded the file-stamp date and instead relied on shipping receipts and the uncontroverted affidavits of the court clerk to determine when the instrument was tendered to the clerk. Id.