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Jeffery Lee Manns v. The State of Texas
Case Number: 02-21-00075-CR
Judge: Per Curiam
Court: Court of Appeals
Second Appellate District of Texas
at Fort Worth
Plaintiff's Attorney: Joseph W. Spence
Fort Worth, Texas - Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant with Appealing from an Order Denying DNA Testing.
On June 10, 2021, we sent Manns a letter stating that we were concerned that
we may not have jurisdiction over his appeal because his notice of appeal was not
timely filed. See Tex. R. App. P. 26.2(a)(1). We instructed Manns or any party desiring
to continue the appeal to file with the court a response showing grounds for
continuing the appeal. Manns filed a response, but it does not show grounds for
continuing the appeal.
Manns claims in his response and in his “Motion To Gain Additional Time”
that he has not received from the 396th District Court an order denying his motion
for forensic DNA testing. A defendant can get additional time to file a notice of
appeal on a motion for DNA testing under Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 4.6
“[i]f neither an adversely affected defendant nor the defendant’s attorney received
notice or acquired actual knowledge that the trial judge signed an order appealable under
Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 64 within twenty days after the signing.” Tex. R.
On June 9, we received a “Motion To Gain Additional Time,” in which Manns
stated his desire to appeal the order denying his motion for DNA testing; we
construed the motion as his notice of appeal.3
App. P. 4.6(a) (emphasis added). Here, Manns admitted in his “Motion To Gain
Additional Time,” which he claimed was timely filed under Rule 4.6, that he was
notified on January 29, 2021, that his motion for DNA testing had been denied by
“Magistrate Judge Reynolds.” Although Manns intimated that only the judge of the
396th District Court can rule on the motion for DNA testing, the magistrate could
properly rule on the motion. See Tex. Gov’t Code Ann. § 54.658(a)(19) (“Except as
limited by an order of referral, a magistrate to whom a case is referred may . . . do any
act and take any measure necessary for the efficient performance of the duties
required by the order of referral.”); Qadir v. State, No. 02-19-00377-CR, 2020 WL
1174000, at *2–3 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth Mar. 12, 2020, pet. ref’d). Manns thus had
actual notice within twenty days of the date that the order denying his motion for
DNA testing was signed.
A late notice of appeal may be considered timely so as to invoke the appellate
court’s jurisdiction if (1) it is filed within fifteen days of the last day allowed for filing,
(2) a motion for extension of time is filed in the appellate court within fifteen days of
the last day allowed for filing the notice of appeal, and (3) the appellate court grants
the motion for extension of time. Olivo v. State, 918 S.W.2d 519, 522 (Tex. Crim. App.
1996). Manns’s “Motion To Gain Additional Time” was filed over five months after
the order denying his motion for DNA testing was signed. Manns has thus not met
these requirements. See id.4
Absent a timely filed notice of appeal, a court of appeals does not obtain
jurisdiction to address the merits of the appeal in a criminal case and can take no
action other than to dismiss the appeal for want of jurisdiction. Slaton v. State, 981
S.W.2d 208, 210 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998); Olivo, 918 S.W.2d at 522.
Outcome: Because Manns’s notice of appeal was not timely filed, we dismiss Manns’s appeal for lack of