law-scire-facias | reviving dormant judgment | dormancy of judgments
Section 34.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which governs preservation and dormancy of
judgments, provides, in pertinent part,
(a) If a writ of execution is not issued within 10 years after the rendition of a judgment of a court of record or a
justice court, the judgment is dormant and execution may not be issued on the judgment unless it is revived.
(b) If a writ of execution is issued within 10 years after rendition of a judgment but a second writ is not issued
within 10 years after issuance of the first writ, the judgment becomes dormant. A second writ may be issued at any
time within 10 years after issuance of the first writ.
. . . .
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 34.001 (Vernon Supp. 2009).
Under section 34.001, a judgment creditor may renew a judgment and keep the judgment alive “indefinitely by
having a writ of execution issued within ten years of the previous writ.” Cadle Co. v. Fahoum, No. 2-06-459-CV,
2008 WL 754992, at *2 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Mar. 20, 2008, no pet.) (mem. op.); see also Zummo v. Cotham,
155 S.W.2d 600, 601 (Tex. 1941) (stating, under predecessor version of statute, that judgment creditor has simple
and inexpensive way to “prolong the life of the judgment indefinitely by merely having execution timely issued”).
Once a judgment becomes dormant, the “dormant judgment may be revived by scire facias or by an action of debt
brought not later than the second anniversary of the date that the judgment becomes dormant.” Tex. Civ. Prac. &
Rem. Code Ann. § 31.006 (Vernon 2008). The effect of section 31.006 is to provide a twelve year residual
limitations period for final judgments. Burnett-Dunham v. Spurgin, 245 S.W.3d 14, 17 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2007, pet.
denied); Longhurst v. Clark, No. 01-07-00226-CV, 2008 WL 3876175, at *2 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Aug.
21, 2008, no pet.) (mem. op.).
In determining whether to issue a writ of scire facias to revive a dormant judgment, a trial court considers the date
of the judgment, evidence of any writs of execution issued on the judgment, and the date of the motion to revive
the judgment scire facias. See Thomas v. Poonen, No. 05-00-01233-CV, 2001 WL 755638, at *2 (Tex. App.—
Dallas July 6, 2001, no pet.) (not designated for publication); see also Trad v. Colonial Coins, Inc., No. 14-02-
00172-CV, 2003 WL 124680, at *2 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Jan. 16, 2003, no pet.) (mem. op.) (stating that
because appellant timely filed motion for scire facias, the judgment “should be revived,” and indicating that revival
of judgment is not discretionary if statutory requirements to revive dormant judgment are satisfied). A scire facias
proceeding is a non-evidentiary hearing for which there is no need for findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Thomas, 2001 WL 755638, at *3.
The Cadle Co as assignee of Amex v. Rollings, (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 25, 2010)(Jenning)
(scire facias, revival of dormant judgment) We reverse the order of the trial court and render judgment granting
Cadle’s motion for scire facias, thus reviving the dormant judgment.
REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND RENDER JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Jennings
Before Justices Jennings, Hanks and Bland
01-09-00165-CV The Cadle Company by assignment from American Express Travel Related Services Company
v. Frank A. Rollins, Individually, and D/B/A Lord's Pharmacy
Appeal from 215th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Steven E. Kirkland
The parties agree that the trial court’s judgment became dormant on or about April 27, 2008. Cadle filed its motion
and amended motion for scire facias to revive the dormant judgment on September 29, 2008 and October 17,
2008, well before the second anniversary of the date that the judgment became dormant. See Tex. Civ. Prac. &
Rem. Code Ann. § 31.006. Thus, Cadle satisfied the statutory requirements of section 31.006 to revive the
judgment, and the trial court did not have the discretion to deny Cadle’s timely filed motion for scire facias. We
must reject Rollins’s argument that the use of the word “may” in section 31.006 provided the trial court with the
authority to deny the motion based upon the equitable reasons proffered by him, including his age and his financial
inability to pay the judgment. We conclude that the use of the word “may” in section 31.006 simply refers to the two
ways identified in the statute in which a party may revive a judgment: a scire facias or an action of debt. See id.
Accordingly, we hold that the trial court erred in denying Cadle’s motion for scire facias.
Conclusion We reverse the order of the trial court and render judgment granting Cadle’s motion for scire facias,
thus reviving the dormant judgment.
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