For the week of July 18, 2011, the Dallas Court of Appeals issued eighteen opinions in civil cases. Ten of these dispose of a case without a detailed discussion of the merits (e.g., dismissing a case for want of prosecution, dismissing a case for mootness, dismissing a case pursuant to settlement). The remaining eight cases are as follows:
Daniels v. Indemnity Ins. Co. (05-09-00975-CV) – Recites well-established rule that, when multiple grounds are raised in a motion for summary judgment and the trial court does not specify the grounds relied upon for its order, the party appealing the order must negate all possible grounds upon which the order could have been based.
Deco-Dence, L.L.C. v. Robertson (05-08-01090-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that a partial summary judgment becomes appealable after a final judgment disposing of all parties and issues is rendered; and (2) a creditor’s deed takes priority over an unrecorded deed unless the creditor has notice of the deed at or before the time the lien attaches to the property.
In re L.V. (05-10-00687-CV) – Recites well-established rule that sufficiency of evidence cannot be reviewed without a reporter’s record.
Muthukumar v. Santa Rosa Apartments (05-11-00151-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that an appellate court’s jurisdiction is never presumed; (2) rule that an appellate court’s jurisdiction over appeals is established exclusively by constitutional and statutory enactments; (3) rule that a notice of appeal from a final judgment brings forth the entire case; (4) rule that a notice of appeal can only be filed from a final judgment or statutorily authorized interlocutory order; and (5) standard for reviewing a trial court’s order sustaining a contest to an affidavit of indigence. Additionally, holds that a separate notice of appeal is not necessary to invoke an appellate court’s jurisdiction to review an indigency ruling in civil cases.
Norred v. Hartsfield (05-09-00629-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that, while a parent may recover damages for the case he or she provides to an injured child, any recovery is measured by the value of the services provided, not by the amount of income lost while providing the care; (2) standard for reviewing the amount of fees awarded to a guardian ad litem; and (3) rule that a trial court abuses its discretion if it awards ad litem fees for work unrelated to an actual or potential conflict of interest or for work more appropriately performed by the plaintiff’s attorney.
Rachal v. Reitz (05-09-01422-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing an interlocutory order denying motion to compel arbitration; (2) rule that, when no findings of fact and conclusions of law are filed, appellate court must affirm trial court’s order if any legal theory supports it; (3) rule that a party cannot be compelled to arbitrate a dispute when the party has not agreed to do so; (4) rule that, when deciding whether a party has established a valid agreement to arbitrate, appellate court applies standard contract principles and does not resolve doubts or indulge a presumption in favor or arbitration; and (5) elements required for the formation of a valid contract.
Schlichting v. Lehman Bros. Bank FSB (05-10-00223-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that, in a forcible detainer action, the only issue for the trial court to determine is which party has the immediate right to possession of the property; (2) rule that any defects in the foreclosure process or with the purchaser’s title to the property may not be considered in a forcible detainer action; and (3) rule that a county court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate title in a de novo trial following the appeal of a forcible detainer suit.
Talliti v. Sarris (05-10-00096-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing alleged error in characterizing property as community or separate; and (2) rule that a “just and right” division of property does not require the trial court to divide a marital estate into equal shares.