Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 2 Galveston County,
Texas, Trial Court Case No. CV-0074131
consists of Justices Keyes, Bland, and Huddle.
plans to remodel an attic space could not meet city
requirements, Leslie and Yale Scott sued Buccaneer
Construction LLC for the return of their construction
deposit. Buccaneer counterclaimed for breach of contract. The
Scotts prevailed at a bench trial, and the trial court
awarded them their deposit and attorney's fees. Buccaneer
appeals, contending that the trial court lacked jurisdiction
to grant the Scotts' motion to reinstate the case after
it was dismissed for want of prosecution and that factually
insufficient evidence supports the judgment. We conclude that
the trial court had jurisdiction and sufficient evidence
supports the judgment. We therefore affirm.
Scotts hired Buccaneer Construction to convert their
home's attic space to a dormer room and bathroom. They
provided a $9, 200 deposit toward construction costs.
Buccaneer required construction plans before beginning work.
The architect that Buccaneer recommended the Scotts use
raised concerns that the house would not accommodate the
planned remodel and the city would not approve permits for
it. Later, he forwarded an email showing that the local
architectural control committee had rejected the proposed
plans, and in particular, the inclusion of a bathroom. The
Scotts cancelled the contract and demanded the return of
their deposit. Buccaneer refused, and the Scotts sued
trial, Leslie Scott testified that she and her husband
contracted with Buccaneer Construction in February 2015 to
add an additional bathroom and to convert the attic space for
a total labor cost of $18, 400. Upon signing the contract,
Leslie Scott wrote a check to Buccaneer Construction for $9,
200. Before beginning, Buccaneer required construction
drawings. On Buccaneer's recommendation, the Scotts
retained Branko Gligoric for the job-an architect that
Buccaneer often used. After Gligoric measured the space and
drew plans, he reported to the Scotts that the bathroom could
not be completed in the dormer space because it would not
comply with the building code. Several days later Gligoric
sent plans for the construction attached to an email that
stated, "I think it will looks very good without
building a new bathroom."
contrast, at trial, Branko Gligoric testified that the
bathroom could be built in compliance with city code and that
he never told the Scotts otherwise. Victor Hegman,
Buccaneer's owner and president, testified that his
company lost $5, 200 in planning and opportunity costs
associated with the Scotts' cancellation of the contract.
Hegman conceded that Buccaneer had not performed any work or
taken delivery of any construction materials before the
Scotts cancelled the contract.
April 2015, the Scotts sued for rescission and for violations
of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, claiming that
Buccaneer had misrepresented the feasibility of the project
and that the contract was impossible to perform. Buccaneer
counterclaimed for breach of contract.
trial court dismissed the case for want of prosecution twice,
but it granted the Scotts' timely motions to reinstate
following each dismissal. Both dismissals were premised on
the parties' failure to appear for a status conference.
The trial court first dismissed the case for want of
prosecution in September 2015. The Scotts moved to reinstate
the case four days later, submitting an affidavit that
verified that everything stated in the motion was true and
correct. The trial court reinstated the case.
Scotts missed a second status conference, and the trial court
again dismissed the case for want of prosecution in October
2015. In early November, the Scotts again moved to reinstate.
The Scotts made slight alterations to their first motion to
reinstate, but used the same verification for their second
motion to reinstate that they had attached to their first
motion to verify that everything stated in the motion was
true and correct.
challenges the trial court's jurisdiction and the
sufficiency of the evidence to support its judgment.