For the week of January 24, 2011, the Dallas Court of Appeals issued twenty-one opinions in civil cases. Eleven 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 ten cases are as follows:
Continental Foods, Inc. v. State (05-09-01249-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard of reviewing trial court’s ruling on plea to the jurisdiction; (2) elements of an inverse condemnation claim; and (3) rule that a lessee is entitled to share in a condemnation award when part of its leasehold interest is lost by condemnation.
Gonzalez v. Gonzalez (05-09-01465-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rules governing restricted appeals; (2) if the respondent in a divorce case fails to answer or appear, the petitioner must nevertheless present evidence to support the material allegations in the petition; and (3) standard for reviewing legal sufficiency of evidence.
Hudgins v. Logue (05-09-01502-CV) – Recites well-established standard for reviewing judgment notwithstanding the verdict.
Luckett v. Brinker Rest. Corp. (05-09-00545-CV) – Recites well-established rule that pro se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed attorneys.
Merritt v. Davis (05-09-01231-CV) – Recites well-established elements of a fraudulent lien claim.
PMS Hospitality, Inc. v. OM Realty Fin. Co. (05-09-00923-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that the recitations proceeding the decretal portion of a judgment form no part of the judgment itself; (2) rule that an appealing party may not complain of errors that do not injuriously affect it or that merely affect the rights of others; (3) rule that an affirmative defense must be pleaded or it is waived; and (4) rule that it is an appellant’s burden to establish reversible error.
Putnam v. City of Irving (05-10-01269-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that a trial court does not abuse its discretion when it bases its decision on conflicting evidence; (2) rule that the interpretation of municipal laws and ordinances is a question of law and, consequently, the court of appeals is not bound by the municipality’s interpretation; and (3) rule that a city violates its contract with voters if the city uses proceeds from taxes approved by the voters in a way that the voters did not approve.
Reyna v. Mitchell (05-09-01372-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing a trial court’s dismissal for want of prosecution; and (2) rule that, when a trial court determines that an plaintiff inmate should not be allowed to appear personally at his civil trial, the inmate should be allowed to proceed by affidavit, deposition, telephone, or other effective means.
S & I Mgmt. v. Choi (05-09-00948-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing traditional summary judgment; (2) definition of “respondeat superior”; (3) standard for reviewing no-evidence summary judgment; (4) for a ruling on an objection to summary judgment evidence for be effective, the ruling must be reduced to writing, signed by the trial court, and entered of record; (5) rule that defects of substance in an affidavit may be raised for the first time on appeal; and (6) elements of proximate cause.
Webb v. Maldonado (05-09-00787-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing no-evidence summary judgment; (2) 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 ruling, the appellate court will affirm the summary judgment if any of the grounds advanced in the motion are meritorious; (3) rule that circumstantial evidence may be used to establish any material fact, but it must transcend mere suspicion; (4) rule that suspicion and conjecture are not evidence; (5) rule that a fact finder may draw negative inferences from a party’s assertion of the privilege against self-incrimination; and (6) rule that, in order to preserve a complaint for appellate review, the record must show that the complaint was made to the trial court by a timely request, objection, or motion, stating the specific grounds for the ruling requested.