When a trial court has issued an order compelling some action a party desires to avoid, the discussion often turns to filing a petition for writ of mandamus challenging the order.

Mandamus is one of the few instances in appellate practice in which time can be of the essence. It involves preparing the equivalent to a full-blown appellate brief, but often on a short-fuse, emergency timeline.

But once the mandamus petition is on file, more is required to stay the order being complained about. Merely filing the petition is not sufficient.

Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 52.10 addresses this issue. The rule authorizes the relator—the party seeking mandamus—to file a motion to stay the underlying proceedings or for any other temporary relief pending the appellate court’s action on the petition.

A motion for temporary relief asking the appellate court to stay the order while it considers the mandamus petition is the tool to use in this situation. The motion should be filed with or shortly after the mandamus petition. Any attempt to file a motion for temporary relief without an existing mandamus petition will be ineffective.

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