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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Adam Roberts Lewis, the appellee, was found guilty by a jury of aggravated assault on a public servant and deadly conduct. The jury assessed punishment at 20 years of confinement and five years of confinement, respectively. The trial court granted Lewis’ amended motion for new trial in each case. The state appeals from that order, contending in seven issues that the trial court was without authority to rule on the amended motion and abused its discretion in granting it. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. Lewis’s amended motion for new trial was not timely. The rules do not allow untimely amended motions for new trial. Therefore, the trial court was without jurisdiction to entertain the amended motion and its ruling is null and void. Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 21.4 does not change prior law and also requires the filing of amended motions for new trial within the thirty days and not thereafter. Lewis’ argument that the wording of Rule 21.4 allows an interpretation that the trial judge may grant leave to amend after the thirty-day period has been considered and rejected by the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. Mercier v. State, 96 S.W.3d 560 (Tex. App. � Fort Worth 2002, no pet.). This court agrees with the Fort Worth court. The plain meaning of the rules, especially in light of their history, is that the trial court has no discretion to allow an amendment after the 30-day period. Accordingly, no amended motion for new trial may be filed after the 30-day period, even with leave of court. Lewis argues that his allegations of constitutional violations override the procedural requirements of the rule. Lewis relies on Morales v. State, 587 S.W.2d 418 (Tex. Crim. App. 1979), in support of his argument. Citing Whitmore v. State, 570 S.W.2d 889 (Tex. Crim. App. 1977) (op. on reh’g), Morales held that a statute governing the time for filing motions for new trial cannot be applied so as to deprive an accused of a right secured by the constitution. The court of criminal appeals discussed this holding and the Whitmore opinion at length in Drew v. State, 743 S.W.2d 207 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987). There, the court pointed out that Whitmore was decided at a time when the applicable rule allowed out-of-time filings “for good cause shown.” Further, the mere mention of constitutional rights is not sufficient since constitutional rights may be waived like other rights. But most important, the claimed deprivation of constitutional rights cannot confer jurisdiction upon a court where none exists. The statutory provisions for filing motions for new trial and amended motions for new trial are mandatory and exclusive and must be complied with in all respects. The court in exercising its particular authority is a court of limited jurisdiction. When there is no jurisdiction, the power of the court to act is as absent as if it did not exist. Accordingly, a late amended motion for new trial fails to vest the trial court with jurisdiction over the issues included in the amended motion. Because the trial court had no jurisdiction to hear Lewis’ late amended motion for new trial, the trial court abused its discretion in granting the amended motion. OPINION:Griffith, J.; Worthen, C.J., Griffith and DeVasto, JJ.

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