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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Karen Vlasak sued Henry Weidner and Culligan Southwest Inc., Weidner’s employer, for injuries she suffered in a car accident with Weidner. Neither Weidner nor Culligan filed an answer and a $250,000 default judgment was entered on July 8, 2003. The clerk of court, however, did not send either defendant notice of the default judgment. On Nov. 3, Vlasak filed a motion to execute the judgment, which the defendants answered on Nov. 18. The defendants also filed a motion to set aside the default judgment. They alleged that the July 8 judgment was not final, so the trial court still had jurisdiction to set it aside. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion on Dec. 12, ordering the judgment set aside, and ordering discovery to proceed. Vlasak filed for a writ of mandamus to set aside the Dec. 12 order on the ground that the trial court’s plenary jurisdiction had expired. HOLDING:Writ conditionally granted. The court iterates that, without a trial on the merits, a judgment is final for purposes of appeal if and only if it either disposes of all claims and parties before the court, regardless of the language used in the order, or it unmistakably states that it is final as to all claims and parties. Here, Vlasak sued only Culligan and Weidner. She sought only unliquidated damages, no attorneys’ fees or punitive damages. The default judgment, though not labeled as a final judgment, awarded Vlasak unliquidated damages against both defendants by name. It contains a Mother Hubbard clause and it does not contemplate further proceedings. The court also finds evidence in the court’s oral pronouncement at the July 8 proceeding that indicates the judgment was final. Though Naaman v. Grider, No. 02-0784 (Tex. Oct. 31, 2003), treated a default judgment as an interlocutory judgment, the court finds the case has no application here. The order in Naaman did nothing more than grant a motion for judgment. It did not modify the existing judgment nor adjudicate any issues. The default judgment in this case not only grants the motion for judgment, it also sets out the findings of the court and pronounces the judgment of the court. Unlike the order in Naaman, then, the default judgment in this case is a final judgment. The court rejects Culligan’s argument that the judgment is void because the court lacked personal jurisdiction over it (for defective service). The court points out that a trial court can render a final judgment even without personal jurisdiction; the judgment is void if challenged, but it is no less final. Consequently, the trial court’s plenary power expired before the defendants filed their motion to set aside, so the trial court had no jurisdiction to grant the motion. OPINION:Green, J.; Green, Duncan and Speedlin, JJ.

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