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Geiger v. Hampel

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

May 10, 2017

Michael E. GEIGER, Appellant
v.
Paul A. HAMPEL, Appellee

         From the 150th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2013CI13615 Honorable Renée Yanta, Judge Presiding

          Sitting: Karen Angelini, Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice Irene Rios, Justice.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KAREN ANGELINI, JUSTICE

         In six issues, Michael E. Geiger challenges a final summary judgment order disposing of his claims against Paul A. Hampel. We affirm.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         On August 16, 2013, Geiger, an inmate, filed suit against Hampel, a lawyer. According to the allegations in the suit, Geiger sought to retain Hampel to represent him in a parole proceeding. Geiger characterized his claims as claims for invasion of privacy and injunctive relief and sought actual and punitive damages. Geiger also complained of violations of federal criminal laws.

         Hampel was not served with the suit until August 1, 2014, almost a year after it was filed. Hampel filed his first pleading in the case, a summary judgment motion, on October 31, 2014. Geiger filed an objection and response to the summary judgment motion on January 13, 2015.

         On May 11, 2015, the trial court granted partial summary judgment in favor of Hampel. The trial court then set Geiger's remaining claims for a jury trial on May 26, 2015. However, the trial was stayed when Geiger filed an appeal challenging the partial summary judgment order. This court ultimately dismissed the appeal for want of jurisdiction. See Geiger v. Hampel, No. 04-15-00329-CV, 2015 WL 4638070, at *1 (Tex. App.-San Antonio July 15, 2015, no pet.) (dismissing appeal because no final judgment existed and no authority permitted an interlocutory appeal).

         On April 13, 2016, Hampel filed another motion for summary judgment, raising both traditional and no-evidence grounds.

         On May 23, 2016, the trial court held a hearing in the case. Geiger appeared at this hearing by telephone. During the hearing, the trial court set a June 3, 2016 deadline for Geiger to file a summary judgment response or any other motions for the court's consideration. The trial court informed Geiger it would consider the motions by submission; however, it also informed Geiger that if any claims remained after ruling on the motions, the matter would be set on the trial docket.

         On June 1, 2016, Geiger filed documents titled, "Motion for Order of Default Judgment, " "Motion of Special Damages and Discriminatory Violation of Due Process, " and "Motion for Order Summary Judgment."

         On June 14, 2016, the trial court signed an order granting Hampel's motion for no evidence and traditional summary judgment and denying Geiger's recently-filed motions. Geiger appealed.

         No-Evidence Summary Judgment

         In his first issue, Geiger argues that Hampel's no-evidence summary judgment motion failed to "prove or satisfy actual no evidence as alleged in the [] petition and exhibits." Geiger's briefing on this issue is confusing, but the crux of his argument seems to be that the trial court erred in granting no-evidence summary judgment ...


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