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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS: Lynda’s Boutique and George Alexander d/b/a Zentner’s Daughter Steakhouse (Alexander) are businesses located adjacent to one another in San Angelo, Texas. On May 6, 1999, Lynda’s Boutique sued Alexander for negligence and gross negligence after a fire spread from Alexander’s building to Lynda’s Boutique. In an order signed Jan. 18, 2000, the trial court directed the parties to appear at a Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 166 pre-trial scheduling conference on March 6, 2000. Lynda’s Boutique did not appear at the scheduling conference. The trial court dismissed the case for want of prosecution four days after the hearing in an order dated March 10, 2000. Lynda’s Boutique did not file a motion to reinstate under Rule 165a(3). On July 12, 2000, it filed notice of a restricted appeal challenging the trial court’s dismissal order. On appeal, Lynda’s Boutique asserted that it did not discover the case had been dismissed until July 5, 2000, after the deadline to file a motion to reinstate had passed. Lynda’s Boutique contended that there were errors apparent from the face of the record. The court of appeals ordered the trial court to reinstate the case, holding that the order setting the scheduling conference did not sufficiently apprise the parties of the trial court’s intent to dismiss the case for want of prosecution because the order said that dismissal for want of prosecution was only “one of the possible sanctions listed in the order” for failure to attend. The court of appeals further held that Rule 165a(1) requires a trial court to give notice of and hold a separate dismissal hearing “where a party may be provided an opportunity to explain his failure to appear” before the court can dismiss a case for failure of a party to attend a scheduled hearing. HOLDING: Reversed and rendered. The court holds that Rule 165a(1) does not require a separate hearing and that the notice in this case adequately apprised the parties of the trial court’s intent to dismiss for failure to attend a pre-trial conference. The record does not reflect the addresses to which either the notice of the pre-trial hearing or the notice of the dismissal order were mailed. There is no indication from the face of the record that either notice was sent to an incorrect address. The face of the record therefore gives no indication that the trial court failed to provide Lynda’s Boutique notice of either the pre-trial hearing or the order dismissing the case for failure to attend that hearing. The court considers whether the order setting the pre-trial hearing comports with Rule 165a(1) and whether Rule 165a(1) permitted the trial court to dismiss this case for failure to appear without setting an additional hearing. The order setting the pre-trial conference plainly warned the litigants that they could expect the trial court to dismiss the case for want of prosecution if Lynda’s Boutique failed to attend: “Failure to appear without excuse will result in dismissal of the case for want of prosecution or entering sanctions or other orders as the Court deems appropriate.” The fact that the trial court said that it might order sanctions in addition or as an alternative to dismissal did not diminish the warning that dismissal was at issue. The fact that the order in this case explicitly states that the court could order lesser or alternative sanctions does nothing more than state the court’s inherent authority. Because the notice in this case clearly set a date and time for a hearing and clearly stated that the parties could expect the court to dismiss the case for want of prosecution for nonattendance, the order satisfies any requirement that there be notice and an opportunity to be heard before a case is dismissed for want of prosecution. The right to seek reinstatement as provided in Rule 165a(3), a restricted appeal in the appropriate case, and procedures for a bill of review will generally satisfy any due process concerns that might arise in this context. OPINION: Owen, J.; Phillips, C.J., Hecht, O’Neill, Wainwright and Brister, JJ., joins. Schneider, filed a dissenting opinion, in which Jefferson and Smith, JJ., joins.

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