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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:John David Temple and Ruth Ann Archambo divorced on May 12, 1989. The divorce form indicated that the parties had consented to the terms of the divorce, including the finding that Temple and Archambo were the parents of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl. Custody, conservatorship, visitation and support of the child were set. On Sept. 11, 2000, Temple filed an original petition for bill of review. He claimed that the child, now nearly 14 years old, did not resemble him or his family. He attached to his petition a report from a DNA-testing company. The report contained a disclaimer regarding the accuracy and validity of the report, since the sample was not collected in accordance with the company’s standard procedures. Temple alleged that: DNA testing excluded him as the child’s father; Archambo’s fraudulent conduct in representing the child as his precluded him from challenging paternity earlier; and his failure to challenge paternity was not intentional or the result of negligence, because he did not know then that he was not the child’s biological father. Temple filed a separate motion to have court-ordered paternity testing. In response, Archambo asserted that she had no knowledge that Temple was not the father, and that the child was conceived and born within the marriage. The trial court denied the petition for bill of review and other relief. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court says it must first decide a unique question: whether a petitioner for bill of review must establish his prima facie case for the granting of the bill of review before he may proceed with discovery (paternity testing) on the portion of the suit to set aside the earlier judgment that has become final. The court finds that, in order to determine if the trial court abused its discretion in denying paternity testing, the court has to determine if Temple pled and proved his prima facie case on his bill of review petition. The court notes that, in general, a bill of review petition would have to prove a meritorious defense or extrinsic fraud. Intrinsic fraud is not adequate to justify relief by bill of review. Because Temple filed his bill of review in 2000, more than four years after the divorce decree, he would have to allege extrinsic fraud, a meritorious defense to the cause of action supporting judgment, and the absence of his own fault or negligence. The court finds no proof of extrinsic fraud offered. Paternity, although not contested, was an issue agreed to by the parties and addressed and resolved by the trial court. The decree established the parent-child relationship. Temple did not allege any act on the part of Archambo that prevented him from contesting the issue of paternity, nor did he allege that he could not contest paternity at the final divorce hearing or that he was denied that defense as a matter of law. The court concludes that Temple alleged only intrinsic fraud because his alleged meritorious defense could have been fully presented at the original proceeding. The court emphasizes that the question it is addressing is a procedural one that does not involve the validity or propriety of paternity testing. Nor does the court’s review extend to whether Temple is the father of the child. The court next reviews the adequacy of Temple’s prima facie proof. Taking note of the disclaimer on the DNA test and Archambo’s assertion that the child resembled Temple and was conceived and born within the marriage, the court again finds no evidence of extrinsic fraud. OPINION:Castillo, J.; Hinojosa, Yanez and Castillo, JJ.

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