TEX CP. CODE ANN. § 33.004 : Texas Statutes - Section 33.004: DESIGNATION OF RESPONSIBLE THIRD PARTY

Search TEX CP. CODE ANN. § 33.004 : Texas Statutes - Section 33.004: DESIGNATION OF RESPONSIBLE THIRD PARTY

(a) A defendant may seek to designate a person as a responsible third party by filing a motion for leave to designate that person as a responsible third party. The motion must be filed on or before the 60th day before the trial date unless the court finds good cause to allow the motion to be filed at a later date.

(b) Nothing in this section affects the third-party practice as previously recognized in the rules and statutes of this state with regard to the assertion by a defendant of rights to contribution or indemnity. Nothing in this section affects the filing of cross-claims or counterclaims.

(c), (d) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.10(2).

(e) If a person is designated under this section as a responsible third party, a claimant is not barred by limitations from seeking to join that person, even though such joinder would otherwise be barred by limitations, if the claimant seeks to join that person not later than 60 days after that person is designated as a responsible third party.

(f) A court shall grant leave to designate the named person as a responsible third party unless another party files an objection to the motion for leave on or before the 15th day after the date the motion is served.

(g) If an objection to the motion for leave is timely filed, the court shall grant leave to designate the person as a responsible third party unless the objecting party establishes:

(1) the defendant did not plead sufficient facts concerning the alleged responsibility of the person to satisfy the pleading requirement of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure; and

(2) after having been granted leave to replead, the defendant failed to plead sufficient facts concerning the alleged responsibility of the person to satisfy the pleading requirements of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(h) By granting a motion for leave to designate a person as a responsible third party, the person named in the motion is designated as a responsible third party for purposes of this chapter without further action by the court or any party.

(i) The filing or granting of a motion for leave to designate a person as a responsible third party or a finding of fault against the person:

(1) does not by itself impose liability on the person; and

(2) may not be used in any other proceeding, on the basis of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or any other legal theory, to impose liability on the person.

(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if, not later than 60 days after the filing of the defendant's original answer, the defendant alleges in an answer filed with the court that an unknown person committed a criminal act that was a cause of the loss or injury that is the subject of the lawsuit, the court shall grant a motion for leave to designate the unknown person as a responsible third party if:

(1) the court determines that the defendant has pleaded facts sufficient for the court to determine that there is a reasonable probability that the act of the unknown person was criminal;

(2) the defendant has stated in the answer all identifying characteristics of the unknown person, known at the time of the answer; and

(3) the allegation satisfies the pleading requirements of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(k) An unknown person designated as a responsible third party under Subsection (j) is denominated as "Jane Doe" or "John Doe" until the person's identity is known.

(l) After adequate time for discovery, a party may move to strike the designation of a responsible third party on the ground that there is no evidence that the designated person is responsible for any portion of the claimant's alleged injury or damage. The court shall grant the motion to strike unless a defendant produces sufficient evidence to raise a genuine issue of fact regarding the designated person's responsibility for the claimant's injury or damage.


Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 136, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 4.03, 4.04, 4.10(2), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.