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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Justice Karen Angelini of the Fourth Court of Appeals, Place Five, seeks mandamus relief against Charles E. Soechting, state chairman of the Texas Democratic Party. The latter initially listed Lauro A. Bustamante as a candidate for Place Seven on the Fourth Court of Appeals, then at the filing deadline as a candidate for Place Five, then after the deadline as disqualified, and finally as a candidate for Place Five again after this court issued three opinions Jan. 27, 2006. HOLDING:Denied. An appellate court may not deal with disputed areas of fact in an original mandamus proceeding. There are several such factual disputes here, including: 1. whether Bustamante filed his documents before the deadline, 2. whether he complied with all statutory requirements except for facial defects that are apparent within their four corners, 3. whether the party had sufficient time to complete its statutory review of his filings before the deadline, 4. whether after that review, but before the deadline, the party erroneously notified Bustamante that his filings complied with statutory requirements, and 5. whether Bustamante could have cured any facial errors before the deadline had the state chairman properly notified him of those defects. OPINION:Brister, J.; Jefferson, CJ, Hecht, Medina and Green, JJ., joined. Willett, J., did not participate in the decision. CONCURRENCE:Johnson, J.; O’Neill, J., joins. “I agree that mandamus relief should be denied because factual disputes exist. Once that conclusion has been reached and expressed, however, no further controversy is before the court as this matter is postured. I would not opine as to what relief is appropriate in the event of future hearings and if particular factual determinations result from those hearings. “Further, although I joined with Justice Wainwright in dissenting from the Court’s decisions in Francis and Holcomb and still believe that those cases were wrongly decided, the cases are now precedent of this Court. Thus, I cannot join his dissent.” DISSENT:Wainwright, J. “The Court should clearly state the rule of law established by its recent holdings. Texas has to live with the opinions in Francis, Holcomb, and this case. They affect every Texan when used to determine which candidates may be certified for elective office. The Court should at least be clear so that this new law can be consistently applied by judges and understood by the public and the bar. The new regime established in Francis, Holcomb, and this case can be simply stated: The Court extends the filing deadlines for virtually any defects in a candidate’s petition, irrespective of whether the defects are technical or substantive and whether the filing was at the last minute or early in the filing period.”

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