The Dallas Court of Appeals granted a petition for writ of mandamus in In re Hunter, and ordered the trial court to specify the reasons for ordering a new trial.
The court’s opinion relies upon the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in In re Columbia Medical Center, 290 S.W.3d 204 (Tex. 2009), to support its holding. Interestingly, the relator (Hunter) apparently argued that the trial court was required to vacate or set aside its order granting the new trial. The court’s opinion does not state what reasoning the relator gave to support her argument. However, the court of appeals cites the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in In re United Scaffolding, Inc., for the proposition that vacating or setting aside the order is not required. Without knowing what reason the relator gave to support her argument, it’s hard to know how United Scaffolding applies. The opinion in In re United Scaffolding addressed whether the granting of the new trial was improper to the extent it was based upon a lack of sufficient evidence. The supreme court stated that because it did not know the reason the new trial was granted, it could not grant relief other than requiring the trial court to specify the reasons. This language almost implies that other relief could be granted in some circumstance. Here, we don’t know if Hunter made the same argument as United Scaffolding, or if some new and different argument was presented and rejected.
The court’s opinion in In re Hunter may be found at this link.