Appeal from the 190th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2012-27197
consists of Chief Justice Frost and Justices Busby and Wise.
OPINION ON MOTIONS FOR
REVI EW OF SUPERSEDEAS
Brett Busby Justice
judgment on appeal awards appellee Ali Choudhri damages and
attorneys' fees and declares the parties' respective
ownership interests in two business entities. The trial court
permitted appellants Osama Abdullatif and Ali Mokaram to
supersede the judgment with a cash deposit equal to the
amount of damages plus applicable interest; the court also
prohibited certain activities by the business entities as
further security for Choudhri pending appeal ("the
has filed a motion and supplemental motion for review of the
Supersedeas Order, asserting it does not provide sufficient
security for the declaratory portion of the judgment or
adequately protect him from loss or damage on appeal. For the
reasons discussed below, we grant Choudhri's motions and
remand the Supersedeas Order for the trial court to take
evidence and make findings of fact regarding the amount and
type of security appellants must post to supersede the
declaratory portion of the judgment, including the value of
the ownership interests recovered by Choudhri on the date of
judgment. See Tex. R. App. P. 24.2(a)(2)(B),
appeal arises from litigation concerning ownership interests
in a partnership, Mokaram Latif West Loop, Ltd. ("ML
Partnership"), and a limited liability company that is
ML Partnership's general partner, Mokaram Latif General,
LLC ("ML General") (collectively "the
Entities"). The case below is proceeding in two phases.
The judgment on appeal is the Phase 1 judgment, which, among
other things, awards Choudhri $50, 000 in damages plus
interest and attorneys' fees and declares the
parties' respective ownership interests in the Entities.
In particular, the non-monetary portion of the judgment
declares the dates on which Choudhri obtained certain
percentages of ownership in the Entities, and it declares
that an assignment of ownership interests to him is
"valid and enforceable."
appellants' motion to set security, the trial court
signed the Supersedeas Order. Citing Texas Rule of Appellate
Procedure 24.2(a)(1) and (a)(3), which we discuss below, the
order allows appellants to suspend enforcement of the Phase 1
judgment by filing a bond or making a cash deposit of $62,
700.25. The Supersedeas Order also states:
As further security to protect Choudhri against any loss or
damage that the appeal may cause with respect to the
Court's declaration of rights in the Final Judgment,
until final disposition of the appeal of the Final Judgment
or further Order of this Court, Part II of the Court's
order of December 5, 2012 [prohibiting the Entities from
taking certain actions and requiring other actions] shall
remain in force and effect.
filed a motion and supplemental motion in this court for
review of the Supersedeas Order. See Tex. R. App. P.
24.4(a). He asserts the trial court abused its discretion in
not requiring any security to suspend the enforcement of the
portion of the judgment declaring his ownership interest in
the Entities ("the Declarations"). See
Tex. R. App. P. 24.2(a)(2) (governing supersedeas of
judgments for recovery of an interest in real or personal
property). He also asserts the trial court abused its
discretion in denying him post-judgment discovery in
connection with his supersedeas challenge. See Tex.
R. Civ. P. 621a (authorizing post-judgment discovery to
obtain information relevant to a motion under Texas Rule of
Appellate Procedure 24). He does not complain about the type
or amount of security the trial court set for the monetary
portion of the judgment. See Tex. R. App. P.
response, appellants first assert they are not required to
supersede the Declarations because declaratory judgments are
suspended automatically when an appeal is perfected.
Alternatively, appellants contend supersedeas of the
Declarations is governed by Rule 24.2(a)(3), not Rule
24.2(a)(2), because the Declarations are "for something
other than money or an interest in property."
Tex.R.App.P. 24.2(a)(3). They assert the restrictions in the
December 5, 2012 order referenced in the Supersedeas Order
sufficiently protect Choudhri from loss or damage on appeal.
review the trial court's supersedeas ruling for an abuse
of discretion. Ramco Oil & Gas, Ltd. v. Anglo Dutch
(Tenge) L.L.C., 171 S.W.3d 905, 909 (Tex. App.-Houston
[14th Dist.] 2005, order), disp. on merits, 207
S.W.3d 801 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, pet.
denied). To the extent the ruling turns on a question of law,
our review is de novo. Mansik & Young Plaza LLC v.
K-Town Mgmt., LLC, 470 S.W.3d 840, 841 (Tex. App.-Dallas
2015, op. on motion), disp. on merits, No.
05-15-00353-CV, 2016 WL 4306900 (Tex. App.-Dallas Aug. 15,
2016, no pet.) (mem. op.).
Rule of Appellate Procedure 24 addresses suspension of
enforcement of a judgment pending appeal in civil cases.
Under Rule 24.1, "[u]nless the law or these rules
provide otherwise, a judgment debtor may supersede the
judgment by" filing an agreement with the judgment
creditor for suspending enforcement of the judgment, posting
a bond, making a deposit in lieu of a bond, or providing
alternate security as ordered by the court. ...