Today I had a consult with a potential client whose case had been "dismissed
for want of prosecution" and they wanted to know what they could
do about it. As a
Houston Divorce Lawyer, I have noticed that clients and potential clients are not aware of the
potential that is out there for their case to get dismissed by the court.
This risk is generally decreased when there is a lot of action in a case,
it is still there and should an experienced divorce lawyer can help minimize
this risk for their client. In this blog post we will discuss what a DWOP
or “Dismissal for Want of Prosecution.”
What is a DWOP?
family law case is filed, the court expects some action be taken on it within a certain
period of time.
A “dismissal for want of prosecution” (DWOP) is a remedy for
a Court when there is little or no activity on a case. A court wants to
keep its calendar as clear as possible by getting rid of any cases that
have sat idle for too long. The amount of time involved before a court
will DWOP a case varies from court to court.
After a Court decides a particular case has been idle to long it will send
out a notice of its intention to DWOP the case and will set a hearing.
If that notice is ignored the case will be dismissed.
At the actual DWOP hearing, the parties will need to show up to the court
and show that there has been activity in case. This can be done by setting
the case for trial. Some courts require that a scheduling order be filled
out and submitted to the court.
What are some reasons that might cause a Court to send out a DWOP notice?
There are many different reasons that may cause a Court to send out a notice
You never served your spouse with
divorce papers or they never filed a waiver of service.
The spouse receiving the papers never filed a response and you never took
a default judgment against them.
You, your spouse, the lawyers missed a required hearing
Deadlines for things such as
discovery (i.e., questions answered under oath about things such as finances) were missed.
Can I undo a DWOP?
The first thing you need to do is speak to your lawyer to determine why
the case was dismissed. If you do not have a lawyer now is the time to hire one.
Courts generally give party’s 30 days to file a Motion to Reinstate.
If timely filed, the court will give you a hearing and allow you state
your reasons for why the Court should grant your motion. If sufficient
reason is given the Court will reinstate the case.
Otherwise the case will need to be refiled. In most circumstances if a
case is dismissed it is done “without prejudice.” That means
that you can refile the case, although that would require an additional
If you have to refile the case this means starting over including having
to serve your spouse again. This can be expensive.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Dos and Don'ts Regarding Electronic Communications in a Texas Divorce
- Can I Sue My Ex for Hacking My Computer in My Texas Divorce?
- Cell Phones, Mail, Computers, Spying on your Spouse, and Privacy Rights
in a Spring, Texas Divorce
- Do I Need to Change My Passwords for a Divorce in Texas?
- Legalities of spying on a child’s cell phone in Texas
- How Social Media Can Hurt You in Divorce
- Why do divorces cost so much in Texas?
- How Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney's Fees in a Texas Divorce?
- How Much Will My Texas Divorce Cost?
- Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and