John Pride and Phareale Investments filed a restricted appeal from the district court’s grant of a no-answer default judgment against them. Among other things, the appellants argued that they should have been served with the plaintiffs’ first amended petition because it sought more onerous relief than the original petition that had been served on them. The record did not reflect that the amended petition had been served on either of the appellants, and the new pleading added claims against them for fraud, declaratory relief, and exemplary damages. Based on those additions, the court of appeals concluded that the failure to serve the appellants with the amended pleading meant that the trial court erred in entering a default judgment against them.
Curiously, the court of appeals mentions in a footnote that the restricted appeal had been abated for a period in order to let the district court dispose of some remaining issues that prevented the default judgment from being a final judgment. The court did not indicate why the appellants elected to proceed with the restricted appeal when they apparently could have still sought relief from the trial court to set aside the interlocutory default judgment, or why they did not pursue an appeal in the ordinary course after the judgment became final.
Pride v. Williams, No. 05-11-01189-CV