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McKnight v. Moss

Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler

June 7, 2017

GEORGE MCKNIGHT, APPELLANT
v.
JOHN MOSS, APPELLEE

         Appeal from the 87th District Court of Anderson County, Texas (Tr.Ct.No. 87-11651)

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

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          BRIAN HOYLE JUSTICE.

         George McKnight appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of John Moss. In a single issue, he contends that Moss did not present legally sufficient evidence in support of his motion for summary judgment. We reverse and remand.

         Background

         McKnight owned a piece of property in Anderson County, Texas. When his property taxes became delinquent, Anderson County foreclosed. Moss purchased the property at the tax sale. Following the sale, McKnight exercised his right to redeem the property under the Texas Tax Code. Anderson County sent Moss a notice informing him of McKnight's redemption.

         Moss intervened in the foreclosure suit, filing a notice of appearance and post-judgment motion to set aside. Moss claimed McKnight did not comply with the redemption statute. Specifically, Moss alleged he was not reimbursed for his associated "costs, " as defined by the tax code. He sought a declaratory judgment that he was entitled to ownership of the property.

         Moss later moved for summary judgment on his claim. McKnight filed a response, but it was untimely and not considered by the trial court. After a hearing, the trial court granted Moss's motion for summary judgment. This appeal followed.

         Summary Judgment

         In his only issue, McKnight argues the trial court erred in granting summary judgment for Moss because the evidence is legally insufficient.[1]

         Standard of Review

         The movant for traditional summary judgment has the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Tex.R.Civ.P. 166a(c); Nixon v. Mr. Prop. Mgmt. Co., 690 S.W.2d 546, 548 (Tex. 1985). When the movant seeks summary judgment on a claim in which he has the burden of proof, he must prove all elements of his cause of action as a matter of law. See Rhone-Poulenc, Inc. v. Steel, 997 S.W.2d 217, 223 (Tex. 1999). Once the movant establishes a right to summary judgment, the nonmovant must respond to the motion and present to the trial court any issues that would preclude summary judgment. See City of Houston v. Clear Creek Basin Auth., 589 S.W.2d 671, 678-79 (Tex. 1979). Except to attack the legal sufficiency of the movant's grounds for summary judgment, the nonmovant must expressly present to the trial court in a written answer or response any reason for avoiding the movant's entitlement to summary judgment. McConnell v. Southside Indep. Sch. Dist., 858 S.W.2d 337, 343 (Tex. 1993).

         We review a trial court's summary judgment ruling de novo. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co. v. Knott, 128 S.W.3d 211, 215 (Tex. 2003). In doing so, we take as true all evidence favorable to the nonmovant, resolve all conflicts in the evidence in the non-movants' favor, and "indulge every reasonable inference and resolve any doubts in the nonmovant's favor." Steel, 997 S.W.2d at 223; see also Sudan v. Sudan, 199 S.W.3d 291, 292 (Tex. 2006); KPMG Peat Marwick v. Harrison Cnty. Hous. Fin. Corp., 988 S.W.2d 746, 748 (Tex. 1999). A fact issue arises when "reasonable and fair-minded jurors could differ in their conclusions in light of all of the evidence presented." Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Mayes, 236 S.W.3d 754, 755 (Tex. 2007).

         Applicabl ...


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