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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The state of Texas filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with this court contending that the district court issued a void order assessing attorneys’ fees in a case after this court’s mandate had issued. HOLDING:The district court’s order awarding attorneys’ fees was not void. The state’s petition for a writ of mandamus is denied. The issue raised in this petition is limited to the question of the district court’s jurisdiction to consider Anderson Courier’s request for attorneys’ fees after this court had rendered judgment and issued its mandate. So long as the district court had jurisdiction, the district court’s order is not void, the question of attorneys’ fees appropriately can be heard on appeal, and the petition should be denied. There is a legitimate question as to whether a trial court’s order that is outside of the scope of an appellate mandate is void or merely voidable. However, the court does not resolve this question in this case, because it finds that the trial court had jurisdiction under 37.011 of the declaratory judgment act. Although the court agrees with the state that the declaratory judgment act does not independently create jurisdiction or substantive rights. See Continental Cas. Co. v. Rivera, 124 S.W.3d 705, 712-13 (Tex. App. Austin 2003, pet. denied). Section37.011 of the act allows for the district court to grant relief ancillary to a prior declaratory judgment. Courts have granted supplemental relief under the declaratory judgment act after an appeal and may award relief not requested on appeal. The court also looks to federal case law because 37.002(c) of the declaratory judgment act compels the court to construe the statute in harmony with federal law concerning declaratory judgments. A number of federal court decisions have made it clear that a trial court has jurisdiction to consider a request for “further relief” under the federal declaratory judgment act at any time, even after a completed appeal. The court holds that the district court had jurisdiction to consider the request pursuant to 37.011 of the declaratory judgment act. Whether the district court’s award of attorneys’ fees was “necessary or proper” will be addressed in the appeal pending before this court. OPINION:Smith, J.; Law, Justices B. A. Smith and Puryear, JJ. DISSENT:Puryear, J. “Anderson Courier waived any claim for attorney’s fees incurred in the original appeal and did not show its entitlement to attorney’s fees in the enforcement of our judgment. The majority seems to hold that the trial court’s mere reference to section 37.011 served to establish jurisdiction over this matter without regard to whether the requirements of section 37.011 were met. Anderson Courier’s motion, even if the court were to consider it a proper “petition” under section 37.011, did not seek the kind of relief allowable under the statute and did not allege any necessity for such relief. We should not view such a defective motion as bestowing or “reinvesting” the trial court with jurisdiction under section 37.011.” “The trial court’s plenary powers were long expired, Tex. R. Civ. P. 329b, and lacking a remand order or a proper petition seeking necessary supplemental relief, the trial court was without jurisdiction to hold further proceedings in this cause. Clearly, it was error for the trial court to have awarded attorney’s fees as “costs.” More than that, however, the trial court’s award was void for lack of jurisdiction. Relief by way of mandamus is therefore a proper remedy. In re Southwestern Bell Tel. Co., 35 S.W.3d at 605. I would grant mandamus relief and I respectfully dissent from the majority’s decision to deny such relief.”

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