Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, DallasFeb 22, 2007
No. 05-06-01110-CV (Tex. App. Feb. 22, 2007)

No. 05-06-01110-CV

Opinion Filed February 22, 2007. Do Not Publish Tex. R. App. P. 47.

On Appeal from the 162nd Judicial District Dallas County, Texas; Trial Court Cause No. 05-11217-I.

Before Justices, WHITTINGTON, MOSELY, and O'NEILL.


Opinion By Justice, O'NEILL.

Appellant, Bernard Dolenz, appeals a judgment granted in favor of appellees the Dallas Central Appraisal District and the Appraisal Review Board of Dallas County. Because we conclude the trial court's judgment is not final, we dismiss this appeal.

Universal Life Church of Texas a/k/a Community of His Divine Mercy (ULC) and Bernard Dolenz as Trustee of ULC sued appellees challenging their decision to deny ULC tax exempt status as a religious organization. ULC's petition was signed by Dolenz, a disbarred attorney. Appellees filed a motion requesting Dolenz to show his authority to act on ULC's behalf. Following a hearing, the trial court concluded Dolenz could not represent ULC and entered an order giving ULC thirty days to retain counsel. Dolenz then filed a pro se petition in intervention, claiming a life estate in ULC's property and requesting damages in his individual capacity. ULC failed to retain counsel and the trial court dismissed "ULC's claims" against appellees. Although the trial court's dismissal order is entitled "Final Order of Dismissal," it did not mention or dispose of Dolenz's individual claims. Dolenz filed a notice of appeal.

When there has been no conventional trial on the merits, an order or judgment is not final for purposes of appeal unless it actually disposes of all claims and parties or states with "unmistakable clarity" that it is a final judgment as to all claims and all parties. Lehmann v. Har-Con Corp., 39 S.W.3d 191, 205 (Tex. 2001); Straza v. Friedman, Driegert Hsueh, L.L.C., 124 S.W.3d 404, 406 (Tex.App.-Dallas 2003, pet. denied). An order that disposes of claims of only one plaintiff does not adjudicated claims by other parties. Lehmann, 39 S.W.2d at 205. Nor does an order dispose of all claims and all parties merely because it is entitled "final." Id.

Here, at the time the trial court entered its judgment, Dolenz had alleged claims as trustee of ULC and had filed a plea in intervention. When a petition in intervention is filed before judgment, the intervenor becomes a party for all purposes unless the trial court strikes the intervention. In re Barrett, 149 S.W.3d 275, 279 (Tex.App.-Tyler 2004, no pet.); see also LSR Joint Venture No. 2 v. Callewart, 837 S.W.2d 693, 704 (Tex.App.-Dallas 1992, writ denied). Because the judgment in this case did not dispose of Dolenz's claims, it is not final. See Barrett. 149 S.W.3d at 279; Simmons v. Williams, 976 S.W.2d 361, 362-63 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1988, no writ); Litoff v. Jackson, 742 S.W.2d 788, 789 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1987, no writ). We dismiss this appeal for want of jurisdiction.