The leading Texas criminal case on cross-appeals is Pfeiffer v. State, 363 S.W.3d 594, 599 (Tex. Crim. App. 2012). It taught an appellate court's jurisdiction is invoked by the timely filing of a notice of appeal. And that the proper notice of appeal vests Texas appellate courts with a broad scope of review and revision over a criminal case. Once jurisdiction of an appellate court is invoked, exercise of its reviewing functions is limited only by its own discretion or a valid restrictive statute. For example, appellate courts may review unassigned error—a claim that was preserved in the trial court but was not raised by either party on appeal. Pfeiffer quoted Carter v. State, 656 S.W.2d 468 (Tex. Crim. App. 1983) that quoted an even older case from the Texas republic that there is a fundamental proposition pertaining to appellate functions of the Judicial Department: A constitutional grant of appellate jurisdiction treats a right of appeal in criminal cases ‘as a remedy to revise the whole case upon the law and facts, as exhibited in the record. Thus, when a defendant appeals a conviction, the courts of appeals have the jurisdiction to address any error in that case, including the State. When a defendant appealed his conviction, the entire case was subject to review, and the State could raise its claim of an illegal sentence without filing any notice of appeal.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
As to Texas civil cases, if any party timely files a notice of appeal, another party may file a notice of appeal within the applicable period stated above or 14 days after the first filed notice of appeal, whichever is later.