DUANE R. YOUNG, Appellant
JEANNE LYNN PARENT, Appellee
Appeal from the 400th District Court Fort Bend County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 15-DCV-224635
consists of Justices Jennings, Higley, and Massengale.
Carter Higley Justice
State filed charges against Duane R. Young for assault,
family violence. The charges were later dropped. Young filed
suit against Jeanne Lynn Parent, the complainant in the
offense. Young asserted claims for malicious prosecution,
abuse of process, and defamation. The trial court granted
Parent's motion for summary judgment on all claims. In
three issues on appeal, Young argues the trial court erred by
granting summary judgment on his claims.
affirm, in part, and reverse and remand, in part.
April 19, 2015, Young and Parent had been dating and living
together. Shortly before April 19, the two ended their
relationship, and Parent began looking for a new place to
live. On April 19, Parent had been out looking for an
apartment when she got a call to come into work. Parent
returned to the house to retrieve a bag she needed for work.
house, Young and Parent got into an argument regarding who
owned the bag. Young later alleged that Parent assaulted him
during the argument. Parent alleged that Young assaulted her.
Both parties agree that, in the process, the door to the
closet fell off its hinges, and Parent scraped her right arm
on some clothes hangers.
called 911, alleging Parent had threatened, "I'm
going to get my gun." Deputy Kyle Cornell was dispatched
to the scene. Deputy Cornell wore a microphone, which
recorded his conversations with Young and Parent.
Cornell spoke with Young first, outside the house. Young
described the two getting into an argument over the bag.
Young told Deputy Cornell that Parent had become violent and
that "the level of violence rose" during the
argument, culminating in Parent threatening to get a gun.
Deputy Cornell observed that emotions were high between the
two and that he could smell alcohol on Young.
Cornell next went into the house and spoke to Parent. Parent
likewise described an argument over the bag. She told Deputy
Cornell that Young shoved her into the closet. She explained
that the door came off the hinges in the process and
indicated the injury she had suffered on her arm, saying the
the brief exchange with Parent, Deputy Cornell returned
outside to talk to Young. Deputy Cornell observed that Parent
had marks on her and Young did not. He also observed that
Young had been drinking. Deputy Cornell then told Young that
he was going to charge him with assault, family violence.
Deputy Cornell arrested Young and placed him in the patrol
car. Deputy Cornell continued to talk to Parent, took
pictures, and filled out various paperwork.
Young was released from jail on bail, Parent recanted. In
later conversations with Young, Parent asserted that Young
was trying to pull her out of the closet, not push her into
it. Ultimately, the Fort Bend District Attorney's office
filed a notice of dismissal of the charges.
2015, Young filed the underlying suit against Parent. Young
asserted claims for malicious prosecution, abuse of process,
and defamation. Parent later filed a motion for summary
judgment, arguing the evidence disproved at least one element
for each of ...