Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
NORA S. GUTIERREZ, BELINDA G. POMPA, AND JORGE RUBEN POMPA, Appellants,
ELOISA GARCIA, Appellee.
appeal from the County Court at Law No. 5 of Nueces County,
Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Contreras and Benavides
M. BENAVIDES, Justice
an appeal from a judgment of eviction rendered in favor of
appellee Eloisa Garcia (Eloisa) following a de novo appeal
from the justice court to the trial court. By three issues,
which we address out of order, appellants Nora Gutierrez,
Belinda G. Pompa, and Jorge Ruben Pompa assert that: (1) the
trial court lacked jurisdiction over this matter; (2) the
trial court committed harmful error by failing to respond to
their request for findings of facts and conclusions of law;
and (3) the trial court erred by ordering them to vacate the
premises. We affirm.
approximately June of 2016, Eloisa allowed her sisters Nora
and Belinda, and Belinda's husband Jorge (collectively
the appellants) to move into her house located on Acushnet
Drive in Corpus Christi in order to give "them time to
fix their house and save money so they could eventually move
back to" their own home on Kasper Street. Eloisa testified
that "after a while" she saw that the appellants
had no intention of moving back to their home. According to
Eloisa, she paid "all the bills, " and therefore,
the appellants had "no claim to the house." Eloisa
wanted to evict them because she felt "like a prisoner
in [her] own house." Nora testified that she has not
paid "any rent per se" to Eloisa for her stay at
the Acushnet house, but had contributed to "the upkeep
of the house." When asked by the trial court what legal
basis the appellants have to stay at the Acushnet home, Nora
testified that she was not served a proper notice to vacate
under the Texas Property Code.
filed a forcible detainer suit in the justice court, in which
she asserted that she gave the appellants written notice to
vacate on September 1, 2016 by personal delivery, as well as
a verbal notice to vacate the premises by September 1, 2016.
On September 21, 2016, the justice court held a hearing and
ordered the appellants to vacate the Acushnet property by
September 26, 2016. The appellants subsequently appealed to
the trial court. After holding a de novo hearing, the trial
court likewise granted Eloisa relief and ordered the
appellants to vacate the premises. This appeal
Jurisdiction of County Court
their third issue, the appellants assert that the trial court
lacked jurisdiction to hear this case because they lacked the
assistance of counsel.
Jurisdiction in Eviction Cases
appeal taken from an eviction suit in the justice court is
tried de novo in the county court. See Tex. R. Civ.
P. 510.10. A trial de novo is a new trial in which the entire
case is presented as if there had been no previous trial.
Id. The trial, as well as any hearings and motions,
is entitled to precedence in the county court. Id.
An appeal is perfected from the justice court on an eviction
case when a bond, cash deposit, or statement of inability to
afford payment of court costs is filed in accordance with
rule of civil procedure 510.9. See id. R. 510.9.
the appellants perfected their appeal on September 26, 2016
from the justice court. Accordingly, the trial court properly
acquired jurisdiction over this matter on that date. See
id. R. 510.9-.10.
Assistance of Counsel
appellants argued to the trial court and now on appeal that
they were not represented by counsel and wanted such
representation before continuing, which was denied by the
trial court. On appeal, the appellants argue that they needed
an attorney, and as a ...