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Dyhre v. Hinman

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

March 22, 2017

CHARLES DYHRE AND TRACY DYHRE, Appellants
v.
DAVID HINMAN AND TYLER IVIE, Appellees

         On Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 2 Collin County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 002-02785-2015.

          Before Justices Francis, Lang-Miers, and Whitehill

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          BILL WHITEHILL JUSTICE

         This is an eviction case following a foreclosure sale where the new property owners David Hinman and Tyler Ivie (Owners) sued Charles Dhyre and Tracy Dyhre (Occupants) for possession of the property. Occupants appeal the trial court's judgment awarding Owners possession, damages for rent, and appellate attorney's fees.

         Occupants raise six issues, claiming the trial court erred by: (i) failing to file findings of fact and conclusions of law; (ii) hearing the case and rendering judgment when the petition was not properly verified; (iii) hearing the case and rendering judgment when all indispensable plaintiffs had not been joined; (iv) granting judgment for possession; (v) awarding damages without an evidentiary foundation and (vi) awarding appellate attorney's fees without supporting evidence.

         We conclude that the trial court did not err other than by awarding appellate attorney's fees. We therefore (i) reverse the attorney's fees award and render judgment that appellees take nothing on attorney's fees and (ii) affirm the remainder of the judgment.

         I. Background

         Occupants' home was foreclosed after they defaulted on their mortgage in September 2014. The Owners purchased the house at an October 15, 2015 foreclosure sale and obtained the resulting deed.

         Owners later sent an eviction notice, but the Occupants refused to leave. Consequently, Owners filed a forcible entry and detainer suit in the Justice Court. The Justice Court awarded possession to Owners, and the Occupants appealed to County Court, which conducted a non-jury trial.

         The Owners testified at trial and entered into evidence their deed, the eviction notice, and the original deed of trust between Occupants and the foreclosing bank. The Occupants did not present any evidence.

         The trial court's judgment awarded the Owners immediate possession, $6, 258.04 in damages, and appellate attorney's fees.

         The Occupants requested findings of fact and conclusions of law, but they did not file a notice of past due findings when the court did not issue findings. This appeal followed.

         II. Analysis

         A. Occupants' First Issue: Did the trial court err by not issuing findings of fact and conclusions of law?

         Occupants' first issue complains that the trial court failed to file findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with Tex.R.Civ.P. 296. Although Occupants do not explain why the findings were required or how they were harmed, they argue that the ...


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