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Sullivan v. Portable Storage of Minnesota Inc.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

March 29, 2017

Michael P. SULLIVAN, et al. Appellants
v.
PORTABLE STORAGE OF MINNESOTA INC., et al., Appellees

         From the County Court at Law No. 10, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2015CV04028 Honorable Jason Wolff, Judge Presiding.

          Sitting: Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice, Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice, Irene Rios, Justice.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice.

         Appellee Portable Storage of Minnesota, Inc. sued Appellant Michael P. Sullivan on sworn account. On December 18, 2015, the trial court granted Portable Storage's motion for summary judgment based on Sullivan's deemed admissions. On February 11, 2016, the trial court denied Sullivan's motion for new trial; Sullivan appealed. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Portable Storage is a Minnesota corporation that buys and sells storage containers. In the usual course of business, Portable Storage sold and delivered goods, wares, merchandise, and services to Sullivan. The business relationship began in December of 2007 and, following a dispute regarding payment ended in May of 2009. In July 2015, Portable Storage filed suit on a sworn account against Sullivan.

         Because the dates of court filings and hearings are vital to our analysis, we set them out in detail below.

July 7, 2015: Portable Storage filed its original petition, in a suit on sworn account, alleging Sullivan owed Portable Storage $16, 562.02 for goods and services.
October 26, 2015: Sullivan's trial counsel filed his Original Answer asserting a general denial, verified pleas, affirmative defenses, and special exceptions.
October 29, 2015: Portable Storage's Request for Admissions was served on Sullivan's trial counsel; Sullivan's responses were due on November 30, 2015.
November 30, 2015: Sullivan did not timely file responses to Portable Storage's request for admissions. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 198.2(a).
December 8, 2015: Portable Storage filed a motion for summary judgment based on the deemed admissions.
December 9, 2015: Portable Storage served Sullivan's attorney with notice that the hearing on Portable Storage's motion for summary judgment was set for January 7, 2016, at 9:30 am.
December 11, 2015: Portable Storage's motion for summary judgment based in part on deemed admissions was served on Sullivan's trial counsel, and Sullivan ...

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