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Texas Appeals Court Ruling Delays Jerry Jones’ Paternity Proceedings

The stay was granted for Sen. Royce West, one of Jones' lawyers, who is in Austin for the Texas Legislative session. The delay gives the Dallas Cowboys owner another few months before he may have to take a paternity test.
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Jerry Jones’ paternity suit proceedings have been put on hold after the Texas Court of Appeals of the Fifth District granted a stay for one of the attorneys representing him in the lawsuit, according to a recent court filing.

The petition was filed Monday to the Texas Court of Appeals after a judge in the 302nd District Court disapproved a legislative continuance request earlier this month for one of his attorneys, Royce West, a Dallas lawyer and state senator who represents District 23. A legislative continuance request asks the court to postpone legal proceedings to another date. In this situation, Jones’ team asked the court to delay as West spends the next several months in Austin while the Texas Legislature is in session. (Barring a special session, the Legislature will be in the Capitol through May 29.)

Jones’ attorneys filed the legislative continuance request to the district court on Jan. 6, four days before the session began, according to court records. The judge disapproved the request on Jan. 19, court documents show, and Jones’ team then appealed for the stay.

The parentage saga began last March with a lawsuit filed by 26-year-old Alexandra Davis that said Jones was her biological father.

The lawsuit alleges Jones and Davis’ mother agreed to a settlement that prevented them from disclosing he was her father, resulting in millions of dollars being paid out to Davis and her mother. She later dropped the petition and filed the paternity suit. Jones has denied he is Davis’ father in court filings.

Last month, a Dallas judge ordered Jones to take a paternity test after hearing from both parties’ attorneys, including West. Jones’ team argued that Davis was born during her mother’s first marriage, and her presumed father would be her mother’s first husband. Davis’ team said an Arkansas court had previously ruled that Davis did not have a father.

A conference in the paternity suit was scheduled for Jan. 24, prompting Jones’ petition to the Texas Court of Appeals of the Fifth District, which was submitted on Monday. A stay, or temporary postponement, was later granted by the appeals court for the lawsuit to allow the district court to resolve the legislative continuance request. The Jan. 24 conference was subsequently canceled. Davis’ lawyers have until Feb. 6 to respond, according to the order.

Jay Gray, one of Davis’ attorneys, said he believed the petition to the appeals court was another delay tactic. Andrew Bergman, another attorney on Davis’ legal team, has previously said that they understood the lawsuit would take many months to resolve.

A spokeswoman at West’s law office said he was in Austin Thursday and not immediately available for comment. Jim Wilkinson, a personal spokesman for Jones, declined to comment.


Nataly Keomoungkhoun

Nataly Keomoungkhoun

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Nataly Keomoungkhoun joined D Magazine as the online dining editor in 2022. She previously worked at the Dallas Morning News,…

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