The Dallas Court of Appeals recently held that local rules that are inconsistent with the TRCP are not enforceable. The case involved a summary judgment response that was supposedly filed and served seven days prior to the summary judgment hearing. The trial court struck the response for failure to comply with Dallas Local Rule 2.05. Local Rule 2.05 requires that documents relating to matters set within seven days of filing must be served in a manner to ensure receipt by the opposing party the same day the papers are filed. The opinion does not mention how the document was filed or served. Relying on TRCP 3a, the court of appeals held that Local Rule 2.05 was not enforceable to the extent it mandates a different "type of service than that prescribed by rule 21a."
Does Local Rule 2.05 really require a "different type of service"? It seems to do no more than ensure that in the event a party hand delivers a response or reply to the court, it will deliver the documents to its opponent in a similar manner thus avoiding the situation in which the court receives a document and has time to review it prior to the hearing but the opposing party does not. I thought the Texas Supreme Court reviewed and approved local rules? If so, why? The court’s opinion in Esty v. Beal Bank S.S.B. can be found at this link. Other local rules may be affected as discussed below.
Dallas Local Rule 2.09 requires reply briefs in support of summary judgment motions be served three days prior to the hearing. The TRCP do not contain a deadline for replies. Would a trial court abuse its discretion by failing to rule on objections to summary judgment evidence filed the day of the hearing?
Also, under Dallas Local Rule 2.12, a motion to quash a deposition muts be filed within three days of receipt of the notice in order to stay the deposition. But TRCP 199.4 provides a motion to quash stays a deposition if filed within three business days after service of the notice. Adding three days to three business days allows up to eight days to file a motion to quash. Is a deposition stayed in Dallas if the motion to quash is filed six days after receipt of the notice?