Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellee was charged in a Dallas municipal court with a consumer affairs violation. On the day the case was set for trial, he made an oral motion to quash the complaint. The municipal court granted appellee’s motion to quash in an unrecorded hearing. Arguing that the motion was untimely according to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 45.019(f), the state appealed to the County Criminal Court of Appeals, which affirmed the judgment of the municipal court. The state then appealed to the Dallas Court of Appeals, which in an en banc published opinion affirmed the judgment of the County Court of Criminal Appeals. Four judges dissented to the majority’s opinion. The Court of Appeals overruled the state’s motion for rehearing, and the state subsequently filed this petition for discretionary review. HOLDING:Affirmed. The issue in this case is one that has not been examined directly by this court. Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 45.019(f) (Vernon 2002) what does the phrase “before the date on which the trial on the merits commences” mean? Is the phrase to be interpreted by its literal meaning, in which case a defendant must object before the date on which the trial starts, or should the phrase mean, rather, that the defendant must object before the date on which the case is set for trial? Article 45.019(f) means what it says, the court decides. If the Legislature wanted the statute to mean that a defendant must make a motion to quash before the date on which the cause was set for trial, it could simply have said so, as it did in Articles 28.01 and 46.03 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Instead, the Legislature chose a term of art tied to a specific meaning. And although some negative implications may result from the application of the statute’s plain text, the court cannot say that the results are so absurd that the Legislature could not have intended it to be interpreted as such. Consequently, the court disagrees with the state’s suggestion that “before the date on which trial on the merits commences” should mean, essentially, “before the date on which the case is set for trial.” Article 45.019(f) means what it says, that a party can move to quash a charging instrument at any time prior to the day on which the trial on the merits commences. OPINION:Meyers, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Keller, P.J., and Johnson, Holcomb, and Cochran, JJ., joined. Keasler, and Hervey, JJ., concurred. Price, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Womack, J., concurred without opinion.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.