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Molina v. Molina

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

March 22, 2017

Melecio Arturo MOLINA, Appellant
v.
Melecio Arturo MOLINA Jr., Appellee

         From the County Court at Law No. 1, Webb County, Texas Trial Court No. 2014CVQ001900 C1 Honorable Hugo Martinez, Judge Presiding

          Sitting: Karen Angelini, Justice Marialyn Barnard, Justice Rebeca C. Martinez, Justice

          OPINION

          Marialyn Barnard, Justice

         Appellant Melecio Arturo Molina ("Molina Sr.") challenges the trial court's summary judgment dismissing his declaratory judgment action against appellee Melicio Arturo Molina Jr. ("Molina Jr.") and affirming a previously rendered nunc pro tunc divorce decree. In his first seven issues, Molina Sr. argues his declaratory judgment action was not barred as a matter of law because the nunc pro tunc divorce decree it sought to attack is void. In his last issue, Molina Sr. argues the trial court violated his due process rights by affirming the nunc pro tunc divorce decree. We reverse the trial court's judgment and remand the cause for further proceedings.

         Background

         In 1997, Patricia Molina filed for divorce from Molina Sr. At the hearing on Patricia's divorce petition, the attorneys for the parties announced they had reached an agreement with regard to the division of the marital estate. The terms of the agreement were dictated into the record in open court. Specifically, with regard to more than 100 acres of real property in Karnes County, described as "the ranch property, " the following exchange occurred:

THE COURT: Who do they [the ranch property] go to?
[Patricia's attorney]: That property, Mr. Molina will keep a life estate and he will immediately execute - a deed conveying the remainder interest to the child, Melicio Arturo Molina Jr.
[Molina Sr.'s attorney]: And -
[Patricia's attorney]: And she would also - she will do the same thing with her interest in the ranch.
[Molina Sr.'s attorney]: Actually, she will waive any interest that she has in the property.
THE COURT: She won't keep any estate interest or anything like that.
[Patricia's attorney]: Right. There's ...

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