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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In a pre-existing cause, Marvin Runnels filed a petition to adjudicate parentage of K.B.S. Runnels said the trial court had continuing jurisdiction and that Runnels had standing to bring a parentage action. The adoptive parents of K.B.S. filed a special appearance arguing that the cause number relating to the adoption had been sealed. In 1996, the parents asked for a dismissal on limitations grounds, and the trial court dismissed the action with prejudice. On appeal, Runnels argues that the trial court erred in granting the parents’ special appearance. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court explains that the case was not dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, because the parents did not contest the fact that the trial court had personal jurisdiction over them. The trial court “evidently dismissed the case because the suit was not timely filed,” the court finds. The court acknowledges that the parents did not file a summary judgment motion raising the limitations argument, but that Runnels was nevertheless aware of the issue when he filed a response to the parents’ motion to dismiss and when the issue was presented to the trial court. Though the procedure used in this case does not conform to the summary judgment rules under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the court still finds that it cannot reverse the trial court’s judgment on an error of law like this unless it can conclude that the error probably caused an improper judgment or prevented Runnels from properly presenting his case. The court notes that in his petition, Runnels admitted that K.B.S. had been adopted and one of the parents in this case was the adoptive father. So, even though he knew the child had been adopted, he still tried to adjudicate his parentage. Runnels argues that putative fathers can commence paternity actions at any time when the child has no presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father. The parents counter that, since Runnels wasn’t a party to the original adoption, he had four years in which to bring a parentage action, but he didn’t file his action until after the four-year period expired. Because K.B.S. had an adjudicated father � the adoptive father � Runnels was not free to bring his action attempting to establish paternity at any time, the court concludes. OPINION:McKeithen, C.J.; McKeithen, C.J., Gaultney and Horton, JJ.

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