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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellee, Christopher Cullen, was charged with driving while intoxicated. He filed pretrial motions, including a motion to suppress written or oral statements, a motion to suppress evidence, and a motion to suppress videotape and audiotape evidence. After a hearing in which only the investigating officers testified, the court granted the defendant’s motions to suppress. The state requested findings of fact and conclusions of law, and the court respectfully declined. The State appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. On appeal, the state argued that it is denied its right to appeal a pre-trial order granting a defendant’s motion to suppress when the trial court refuses the state’s request for findings of fact and conclusions of law because, without such findings, appellate courts are unable to review the decision for an abuse of discretion. The court of appeals held that there is no requirement that the trial court make findings of fact and conclusions of law when suppressing evidence. The court recognized that appellate review is limited when there are no findings or conclusions, but declined to impose a rule requiring trial courts to file findings of fact and conclusions of law after granting a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. The court of appeals urged the state to take its argument to the Legislature or to this court if the state believes that justice demands a rule requiring trial courts to file findings of fact and conclusions of law when suppressing evidence. HOLDING:Reversed. The trial court’s refusal to act prevented the court of appeals from meaningful review of the decision to grant the motion to suppress. Without findings of fact and conclusions of law, the court of appeals was left in the undesirable position of having to make assumptions about the reasons for the trial court’s decision. Rule 44.4 authorizes the court of appeals to remand the case to the trial court so that the court of appeals is not forced to infer facts from an unexplained ruling. While Rule 44.4 remedies the problem in this case, the efficient administration of justice will be served by a requirement that trial judges respond to a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law. Effective from the date of this opinion, the requirement is: upon the request of the losing party on a motion to suppress evidence, the trial court shall state its essential findings. By “essential findings,” the court means that the trial court must make findings of fact and conclusions of law adequate to provide an appellate court with a basis upon which to review the trial court’s application of the law to the facts. The non-prevailing party does not forfeit its right to appellate review of an adverse ruling by failing to request findings of fact and conclusions of law. If the non-prevailing party fails to make the request, and the trial court does not enter findings of fact and conclusions of law of its own accord, the non-prevailing party can still appeal any adverse ruling. In that event, State v. Ross, 32 S.W.3d 853, 858 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000), will continue to control. The court looks to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 297 to provide guidance to the trial courts about the time to file requested findings of fact and conclusions of law. The rule states that “The court shall file its findings of fact and conclusions of law within twenty days after a timely request is filed. The court shall cause a copy of its findings and conclusions to be mailed to each party in the suit.” Thus, while the appealing party must file its notice of appeal in accordance with the applicable statutes and rules, the trial court has 20 days from the date of its ruling in which to file findings of fact if it has not already made oral findings on the record. As a result, the time to perfect an appeal under Rule of Appellate Procedure 26.2 and Code of Criminal Procedure Article 44.01 is unaffected by the requirement that the trial court enter findings and conclusions if requested. OPINION:Meyers, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous court.

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