Appeal from the 245th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2014-30215
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Higley and
order, we determine whether the intervenors to a divorce
proceeding have standing to appeal the final judgment.
Evangelina Lopez Guzman Zaragoza has moved to dismiss the
appeals brought by Dade Aviation, Inc., Abbington Marine,
Inc., Ezar Management, LLC, Ezar Properties, L.P., Eagle
Ridge Properties, LLC, Elsa Esther Anchondo Carrillo, Ernesto
Carrillo, and Texas LPG Storage Company. Evangelina contends
that these parties must be dismissed from the appeal for lack
of standing because their interventions in the trial court
were untimely. Because the intervenors filed their pleas in
intervention before the trial court signed the final
judgment, the pleas were not untimely. We therefore deny the
filed for divorce in May 2014 against Miguel Zaragoza
Fuentes. Evangelina's petition named Miguel and each of
the intervenors as parties, with the exception of Eagle Ridge
Properties. Beginning in February 2015 and continuing through
October 2015, Evangelina non-suited the intervenors initially
named in her petition.
a week before trial, Evangelina supplemented her amended
petition, again naming Dade Aviation, Abbingdon Marine, Ezar
Managment, Ezar Properties, and Esther Carrillo as
co-respondents. The October 26 supplement did not name
Ernesto Carrillo and Texas LPG Storage Company.
pre-trial conference two days before trial, intervenors'
counsel objected that Evangelina's supplemental petition
sought affirmative relief against them. Evangelina confirmed
that she would not seek affirmative relief from the
intervenors and again nonsuited the intervenors on November
case proceeded to trial the following day, November 4, and
continued through November 5. Having been nonsuited, the
intervenors did not appear at trial. On November 5, at the
conclusion of the evidence, the trial court stated that,
subject to the later submission of attorney's fees, it
was "going to grant a divorce" in favor of
Evangelina; it orally announced that it would accept
Evangelina's proposed property division:
Therefore, based upon the pleadings on file and testimony
presented today, subject to the submission of your
attorney's fees and all of that, the Court's going to
grant a divorce . . . . The Court will accept and make as its
order the proposed division as set forth in the record, as
the Court's just and right division under the pleadings
and the evidence presented.
November 19 and December 10, the intervenors filed petitions
to intervene in the case, claiming that property they owned
was among the assets to be awarded as marital property in the
divorce. Eagle Ridge, which was never previously named as a
party, also intervened, contending that the proposed division
purported to divide property owned by Eagle Ridge.
December 21, 2015, the trial court signed its Final Decree of
Divorce. Miguel and the intervenors have filed separate
appeals from the decree.
requests that we dismiss the intervenors from the appeal
because, she contends, they lack standing to appeal.
Evangelina claims the intervenors lack standing because they
were not parties to the underlying case, and their petitions
to intervene were filed too late. See Tex. Mut. Ins. Co.
v. Ledbetter, 251 S.W.3d 31, 36 (Tex. 2008) (petition in
intervention is timely if filed before signing and rendition
of final judgment). Intervenors' petitions, however, were