Fans of appellate terminology will recall a recent blog post about the distinctions among the words “rendered,” “entered,” and “signed” in the context of judgments. The Fifth Court applied those distinctions in In the Interest of C.D.G., a challenge to a judgment entered nunc pro tunc. The Court said:

  • “A judgment is ‘rendered’ when the decision is officially announced either orally in open court or by memorandum filed with the clerk. On the other hand, a judgment is ‘entered’ after being signed by the trial court judge.”
  • Therefore: “The nunc pro tunc requirement is satisfied only if there is some evidence that the trial court had, at some point before the original order was entered, rendered judgment inconsistent with the language actually entered in the original order. If nothing in the record shows that there is a discrepancy between the judgment as rendered and the judgment as entered, we are compelled to hold that the error in the signed final judgment was a judicial error and thus a judgment nunc pro tunc cannot stand.”
  • And importantly: “The focus is … on the actions of the court, not the parties. Thus, the mere fact that the parties entered into an [agreement] or filed it with the court, without more, does not translate that act into the entry of a judgment thereon by the court. A judicial error is an error which occurs in the rendering as opposed to entering of a judgment.”

No. 05-21-00132-CV (July 15, 2022) (mem. op.) (citations omitted, emphasis in original).

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