law-appearance | general vs. special appearance | personal jurisdiction

Baker v. Monsanto Co., 111 S.W.3d 158, 161 (Tex. 2003) (the filing of an answer is deemed a general
appearance submitting a party to the jurisdiction of the court for all reasons); Dawson-Austin v. Austin, 968
S.W.2d 319, 322 (Tex. 1998) (a party makes a general appearance if he invokes the trial court's judgment on
a question other than jurisdiction, recognizes that action is properly pending before court, or seeks affirmative
action from court).


Service of Process

Before a court may enter judgment against a party, the court must have obtained jurisdiction over that party
pursuant to applicable rules or statutes.  See Tex. R. Civ. P. 124; Ross v. Nat'l Center for the Employment of
the Disabled, 197 S.W.3d 795, 796-97 (Tex. 2006); Vance v. Davidson, 903 S.W.2d 863, 866 (Tex. App.-
Houston [14th Dist.] 1995, orig. proceeding).  A trial court's jurisdiction is a question of law an appellate court
reviews de novo by examining the pleadings and any other evidence relevant to the determination.  In re
Erickson, 208 S.W.3d 737, 740 (Tex. App.- Texarkana 2006, no pet.).  In general, jurisdiction over a party is
acquired by
voluntary appearance, service of process as provided by law, or waiver of service.  See Tex.
R. Civ. P. 124 ("In no case shall judgment be rendered against any defendant unless upon service, or
acceptance or waiver of process, or upon an appearance by the defendant, as prescribed in these rules,
except where otherwise expressly provided by law or these rules."); Werner v. Colwell, 909 S.W.2d 866,
869-70 (Tex. 1995).
Whatley v. Walker (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jun. 18, 2009)(Op. By Hedges)
PROBATE LAW: guardianship, service of process, recusal of the judge, disqualification)
Before Chief Justice Hedges, Justices Brock Yates and Brown   
AFFIRMED: Opinion by
Chief Justice Hedges   
14-06-00970-CV Dawn Johnson Whatley, Individually and as Executrix of the Estate of Perry Lee Whatley,
Deceased and Michael Easton v. Mylus James Walker, Jeanine Anderson and Robert Daniel Whatley    
Appeal from
Probate Court No 2 of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Michael James Wood
In addition to the civil service of process requirements articulated under the civil procedure rules, the Probate
Code prescribes further service requirements specific to guardianship proceedings.

Jaco v. Rivera (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 12, 2009)(Seymore)
post-answer default judgment, trial court erred in denying motion for new trial, Craddock test elements
pro se defendant, appearance in suit)
REVERSED AND REMANDED: Opinion by Justice Seymore  
Before Justices Brock Yates, Seymore and Boyce
14-07-00572-CV  Gerald Randall Jaco v. Angel Roman Rivera
Appeal from 212th District Court of Galveston County
Trial Court
Judge: Susan Elizabeth Criss