Appeal from the 300th District Court Brazoria County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 48170
consists of Justices Boyce, Busby, and Wise.
Brett Busby Justice
former spouses appear regularly on our docket. In this latest
chapter of their long-running dispute, appellant Wilma
Reynolds challenges two rulings by the trial court: (1) the
denial of her motion to compel appellee David Reynolds to
produce financial records; and (2) the granting of
David's traditional motion for summary judgment. Because
we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion
when it denied her motion to compel, we overrule Wilma's
first issue. We overrule Wilma's second issue because
David's summary judgment evidence established as a matter
of law his affirmative defense of collateral estoppel. We
therefore affirm the trial court's judgment.
petitioned for divorce from Wilma in 2008. Reynolds v.
Reynolds, No. 14-09-00720-CV, 2010 WL 3418209, at * 1
(Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Aug. 31, 2010, pet. denied).
David is employed by QuantLab Financial, LLC. Id.
David also participates with his employer in two entities,
QuantLab Trading Partners US, LLP (QTP) and Quantlab
Incentive Partners I LLC (QIP). Id. In addition to
his salary from Quantlab Financial, David receives income
from both QTP and QIP. Id. During the 2009 divorce
trial, a central dispute between the parties was
"David's interest in and income derived from those
entities, and how those items should be divided in the
divorce decree." Reynolds v. Reynolds, No.
14-14-00080-CV, 2015 WL 4504626, at *1 (Tex. App.-Houston
[14th Dist.] 2015, July 23, 2015, no pet.). This issue was
litigated and both David and Wilma submitted proposed
divisions of the marital estate that encompassed the
estate's interest in QTP and QIP.
2009 judgment dividing the marital estate, the trial court
adopted David's proposed division and awarded Wilma $3,
220, 874.74 and other property, and also awarded her "50
percent of the year 2008 Estimated Income from [QIP] after
taxes are paid on the income." Reynolds, 2010
WL 3418209, at *2. The divorce decree awarded David the
marital estate's entire interest in both QTP and QIP
except for the 50 percent of the 2008 estimated income from
QIP specifically awarded to Wilma. In 2010, "[t]his
Court affirmed the trial court's divorce decree and
division of the marital estate because we concluded Wilma was
estopped from challenging the decree on appeal as a result of
her acceptance of the benefits of the property
division." Reynolds, 2015 WL 4504626, at *1.
record does not reveal how much of the estate has been
consumed by further litigation between the parties, which has
included: a petition to modify the parent-child relationship;
a bill of review; a petition to enforce property division; a
petition for post-divorce division of community property;
appeals associated with each of these proceedings; and at
least thirteen petitions for writ of mandamus in this Court
and three in the Supreme Court of Texas. Much of this
litigation has concerned income (or records of income) from
QTP and QIP.
2015, Wilma filed the present petition seeking a post-divorce
division of community property. Wilma alleged that there were
community assets "undivided by the trial court, "
including (1) the "community estate's earned
income/bonuses or the community estate's share of earned
profits" for QTP; and (2) the "community
estate's earned QIP income/bonuses for the years 2007 or
2009." Soon thereafter, Wilma served requests for
production on David. Among other things, Wilma asked David to
produce his ownership and financial records related to QTP,
QIP, and Quantlab Financial. Wilma also asked for records for
all of David's accounts with domestic banks or other
financial institutions and foreign banks or other financial
institutions, for the period May 3, 1997 until April 22,
2009. Wilma served interrogatories on David inquiring into
the same subjects.
filed a motion for protection from Wilma's discovery
requests. Among other objections, David objected that the
requests were not relevant, were an improper fishing
expedition prohibited by the rules of discovery, were served
for improper purposes including expense and harassment, were
redundant of previous requests that had already been ruled on
by the trial court and affirmed on appeal, and sought
protected proprietary and financial information. Wilma
responded with a motion to compel, which included no argument
in response to David's objections. Instead, Wilma simply
asked the trial court to overrule David's objections,
deny his motion for protection, and compel him to respond to
the discovery. Wilma also asked the trial court to take
judicial notice of various documents that had been filed
previously for in camera inspection, review the documents,
determine their relevance to the pending action, and release
any relevant documents to her.
also filed a traditional motion for summary judgment on
Wilma's petition for post-divorce division of community
property. David argued he was entitled to summary judgment on
three affirmative defenses: (1) statute of limitations, (2)
res judicata, and (3) collateral estoppel.
trial court held a hearing in which it considered these
pending motions. At the end of the hearing, the trial court
denied Wilma's motion to compel, granted David's
motion for protection, and granted David's motion for
summary judgment. This appeal followed.
The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied