Decisions

Most Viewed Decisions

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS SIXTH DISTRICT TEXARKANA

IN THE MATTER OF THE MARRIAGE OF BINNAABAH FORD AND JOE C. FORD

The appellant argues the trial court abused its discretion in failing to order forfeiture of what the appellant asserts was undisclosed marital property (income the appellee received during the final three years of the marriage) and the failure of the trial court to reconstitute the marital estate. Because the appellant failed to allege a fraud on the community as required by Texas Family Code §7.009, the issue of failure to reconstitute was not properly presented to the trial court. With no evidence any of the income was still on hand at the time of the divorce, there is nothing establishing the existence of property not disposed of in the divorce decree, as contemplated by Texas Family Code §9.203. The trial court's ruling is affirmed. Texarkana Court of Appeals, No. 06-13-00109-CV, 05-22-2014

Practice Areas: Family Law

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS EIGHTH DISTRICT EL PASO

TEMPORARY ALTERNATIVES, INC., d/b/a dmDICKASON PERSONNEL SERVICES OF EL PASO, Appellant, v. MISTI K. JAMROWSKI, Appellee.

The appellant seeks to compel arbitration against a former employee who filed suit in district court. The agreement is illusory. By reserving itself the plenary power to unilaterally alter or terminate the agreement at any point prior to formal arbitration without allowing the appellee the opportunity to avail herself of the procedure to which she initially agreed, the appellant retained the power to avoid arbitration altogether. The trial court's denial of arbitration is affirmed. El Paso Court of Appeals, No. 08-13-00166-CV, 05-21-2014

Practice Areas: Alternative Dispute Resolution , Arbitration (ADR)

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS TENTH DISTRICT WACO

SOUTHERN COUNTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellant v. GREAT WEST CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellee

The appellee, an insurance company, sued the appellant, an insurance company, to collect on a judgment rendered in favor of the appellee against the appellant's insured. Tyron Black was injured in a vehicle collision with an employee of the insured and his business while the employee was acting in the course and scope of his employment. The dispute is between the appellee, who paid Black's personal injury expenses, and the appellant who was obligated pursuant to the MCS-90 to pay the judgment against the appellant's insured for Black's expenses. The appellee is entitled to payment from the appellant under the MCS-90 endorsement and the Workers' Compensation Act to satisfy the judgment against the insured. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Waco Court of Appeals, No. 10-14-00032-CV, 05-22-2014

Practice Areas: Insurance Law

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS EIGHTH DISTRICT EL PASO

COUNTY OF EL PASO, TEXAS and EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, Appellants, v. LISA LATIMER, Appellee.

A county argues that due to the untimeliness of her whistleblower suit, the appellee failed to comply with the jurisdictional elements of her cause of action, thus, the trial court lacked jurisdiction over her claims. When it is unclear whether an employer has a post-termination grievance procedure, the terminated employee's notice to the employer that he believes that an adverse personnel action was taken against him due to a good faith report of a violation of the law by the governmental entity, if made within 90 days, is sufficient to toll the limitations period of Texas Government Code §554.005. The trial court's order denying the appellant's plea to the jurisdiction is affirmed. El Paso Court of Appeals, No. 08-13-00082-CV, 05-21-2014

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS, FOURTEENTH DISTRICT, HOUSTON

IN RE CLIFFORD HALL, Relator

The relator challenges a commitment order issued after his alleged failure to pay child support. The repeal of Texas Family Code §157.162(d), which was effective June 14, 2013, was retroactive as it applied to contempt hearings held on or after that date, rather than on actions filed after that date. On the dates that relator allegedly committed the acts of contempt (failing to pay the child support timely), he had the "affirmative defense" of payment. The repeal did not violate the relator's substantive protections in this case because relator had the ability to take advantage of that affirmative defense before its repeal. The relator's petition for writ of habeas corpus is granted with respect to a single alleged failure to make a payment, the remainder of the petition is denied. Houston's 14th Court of Appeals, No. 14-14-00062-CV, 05-28-2014

Practice Areas: Family Law

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

In the Matter of: PLACID OIL CO., Debtor;JIMMY WILLIAMS, SR.; JIMMY WILLIAMS, JR.; DALTON GLEN WILLIAMS; JEANETTE WILLIAMS SHOWS; GWENDOLYN WILLIAMS PEACOCK, Individually and on Behalf of the Deceased, Myra Williams, Appellants v. PLACID OIL COMPANY, Appellee

The plaintiffs brought tort claims against a debtor in connection with the allegedly asbestos-related illness and death of a family member. The bankruptcy court granted the debtor's motion for summary judgment, and the district court affirmed. The law does not require that a creditor serve upon the debtor a formal complaint in order to make himself reasonably ascertainable or known. However, at a minimum, the debtor must possess specific information about a manifested injury, to make the claim more than merely foreseeable. Because a bar date notice need not inform unknown claimants of the nature of their potential claims, the debtor's notices were substantively sufficient to satisfy due process. The district court's judgment is affirmed. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-11120, 05-27-2014

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS, NINTH DISTRICT, BEAUMONT

IN RE COMMITMENT OF DAVID DODSON

The appellant challenges a civil commitment order. Conditions including restriction to a facility, where some temporary supervised trips are allowed, and the wearing of a leg monitor, are not necessarily punitive. Subjecting a person to ineffective treatments does not necessarily mean that the treatments are punishment. The Sexually Violent Predator statute is a civil statute that is not punitive. Therefore, the application of the SVP statute to the appellant does not violate the prohibition against the enactment of a retroactive law. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Beaumont Court of Appeals, No. 09-13-00222-CV, 05-29-2014

Practice Areas: Constitutional Law

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS SIXTH DISTRICT TEXARKANA

PARAGON INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS, INC., AND RLI INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellants v. STAN EXCAVATING, LLC, Appellee

The appellant challenges the denial of its motion to compel arbitration. Even though one of the parties may be operating under a good-faith belief that the person with whom they are dealing is the agent of another, that fact alone is not enough to bind the purported principal. Ratification of an agreement by a party takes place only after that party (upon learning all of the material facts) confirms or adopts an earlier act that did not then legally bind it and that it could have repudiated. The trial court's order is affirmed. Texarkana Court of Appeals, No. 06-14-00001-CV, 05-06-2014

Practice Areas: Contracts

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS FOURTEENTH DISTRICT HOUSTON

WILLIE EUGENE PEARSON, Appellant v. THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee

The appellant asserts the trial court failed to timely cumulate the sentences because the judge did not orally order consecutive sentences when sentence was first pronounced. There is no prohibition against entry of an order of cumulation following a recess of the sentencing hearing. The trial court's judgment is affirmed. Houston's 1st Court of Appeals, No. 14-13-00277-CR, 04-29-2014

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

COURT OF APPEALS OF TEXAS THIRD DISTRICT AUSTIN

Lee Hoffpauir, Inc., Appellant v. Kenneth Kretz and Elayne Kretz, Appellees

The appellant challenges an order denying its motion for new trial challenging a no-answer default judgment in favor of appellees. The current Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure have not abrogated the Wilson holding that a defendant may raise a defective-service complaint for the first time on appeal, and certainly not where, as here, the plaintiff failed to serve the defendant altogether. The district court's judgment is reversed and remanded. Austin Court of Appeals, No. 03-13-00597-CV, 05-06-2014

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Civil