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Van Zandt Health Care Property, Inc. v. Redd

Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler

May 24, 2017

VAN ZANDT HEALTH CARE PROPERTY, INC., D/B/A ANDERSON NURSING CENTER, APPELLANT
v.
MARY REDD AND RODNEY REDD, APPELLEES

         Appeal from the County Court at Law of Van Zandt County, Texas (Tr.Ct. No. CV05010)

          Panel consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GREG NEELEY, JUSTICE

         Van Zandt Health Care Property, Inc., d/b/a Anderson Nursing Center (Van Zandt) appeals the trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Rodney and Mary Redd. In one issue, it argues that the trial court erred in granting the Redds' motion for summary judgment. We dismiss for want of jurisdiction.

         Background

         In October 2013, Van Zandt sued the Estate of Arietta Turner and Turner's heirs, the Redds. In its petition, Van Zandt alleged that it had a contract to provide nursing care and maintenance for Turner and that the contract was breached when payments were not made in accordance with the contract's terms.

         In their answer, the Redds asserted a counterclaim for conversion. They also moved for summary judgment, alleging that Van Zandt's claim was barred by the statute of limitations because suit was required to be brought within six months of Van Zandt's appointment as dependent administrator of Turner's estate. The Redds argued that this Court previously determined that Van Zandt's claim was untimely and that, consequently, the current suit was also barred under res judicata.[1] Following a hearing, the trial court granted the summary judgment. This appeal followed.

         Jurisdiction

         Before we address Van Zandt's sole issue, we first consider the Redds' argument that the summary judgment order is not a final and appealable order and that this Court does not have jurisdiction over Van Zandt's appeal.

         Standard of Review and Governing Law

         Appellate jurisdiction is never presumed. Beckham Group, P.C v. Snyder, 315 S.W.3d 244, 245 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2010, no pet.). Unless the record affirmatively shows the propriety of appellate jurisdiction, we must dismiss the appeal. See id. This court's jurisdiction is established exclusively by constitutional and statutory enactments. See, e.g., TEX. CONST, art. V, § 6; Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 22.220(c) (West Supp. 2016). Unless one of the sources of our authority specifically authorizes an interlocutory appeal, we only have jurisdiction over an appeal taken from a final judgment. See Lehmann v. Har-Con Corp., 39 S.W.3d 191, 195 (Tex. 2001); N.E. Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Aldridge, 400 S.W.2d 893, 895 (Tex. 1966).

         '"[A] judgment issued without a conventional trial is final for purposes of appeal if and only if either (1) it actually disposes of all claims and parties then before the court, regardless of its language, or (2) it states with unmistakable clarity that it is a final judgment as to all claims and all parties.'" Farm Bureau Cty. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rogers, 455 S.W.3d 161, 163 (Tex. 2015) (quoting Lehmann, 39 S.W.3d at 192-93). "An order does not dispose of all claims and all parties merely because it is entitled 'final', or because the word 'final' appears elsewhere in the order, or even because it awards costs." Lehmann, 39 S.W.3d at 205. "Rather, there must be some other clear indication that the trial court intended the order to completely dispose of the entire case." Id.

         Analysis

         In this case, there is no unmistakably clear statement on the face of the trial court's summary judgment order indicating that the trial court intended the order to be a final judgment as to all claims and parties. See Rogers, 455 S.W.3d at 163; see also Lehmann, 39 S.W.3d at 205. Rather, the order simply states that Van Zandt's claim is without merit and "the Motion for Summary Judgment of Rodney Redd and Mary Redd ...


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