Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth
THE 342ND DISTRICT COURT OF TARRANT COUNTY TRIAL COURT NO.
MEIER, GABRIEL, and PITTMAN, JJ.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
T. PITTMAN JUSTICE.
Corey Erven appeals from the summary judgment granted in
favor of Appellee Deanna L. Springer on his negligence claims
against her. Erven did not serve Springer until nearly a year
after filing suit and after the expiration of the applicable
limitations period. The trial court granted summary judgment
for Springer on the basis of limitations. Because Erven
failed to raise a fact issue on whether he exercised
reasonable diligence in serving Springer, we affirm.
sued Springer and another party not involved in this appeal
for damages resulting from a car accident. Erven alleged that
the accident occurred on or about February 4, 2013. He filed
his suit on January 21, 2015, asserting negligence claims.
trial court dismissed the suit on June 30, 2015 for want of
prosecution. Upon Erven's motion, the trial court
reinstated the case on its docket. Erven served Springer by
private process server on January 7, 2016. The other party to
the suit was served by private process server on May 27,
filed an answer in which she asserted the affirmative defense
of limitations. She then filed a combined traditional and
no-evidence motion for summary judgment based on that
motion, Springer alleged that the court clerk had issued the
original citation on January 23, 2015, but she had not been
served because, although the police report from the accident
listed her address in Irving, Erven had listed her address in
his petition as being in Dallas, and this incorrect address
was incorporated into the citation. As evidence, Springer
attached a copy of the police report listing an address for
her in Irving and a copy of the petition in which Erven
alleged a different address in Dallas. Springer alleged that
the Dallas address Erven had used had been included in the
police report, but not as her address. Rather, it
was the address of the owner of the car she had been driving
at the time of the accident, a person Erven had not sued.
no-evidence part of her motion, Springer alleged that Erven
had no evidence to show that he was diligent in serving her
after he filed his original petition.
traditional summary judgment ground, Springer asserted that
the evidence conclusively showed that she was not served
until after limitations had expired and that Erven did not
use diligence in serving her. Further, Springer alleged in
her motion that her summary judgment evidence showed
"the virtual non-existence of any efforts to serve"
her. In support, Springer attached: (1) a copy of Erven's
petition listing a Dallas address for her; (2) the police
report from the accident, which listed an address in Irving
for Springer and an address in Dallas for "Enterprise,
" the owner of the car she had been driving; (3) the
first citation, issued January 23, 2015, which listed
Springer's address as the Dallas address; (4) an
affidavit of attempted service at the Dallas address,
averring that the process server received the citation on
March 12, 2015, that Springer could not be found at the
Dallas address, and that there had been a company called
"Enterprise" at this location "some time
back"; (5) the second citation, listing an address for
Springer in Carrollton; (6) an affidavit of nonservice at the
Carrollton address; and (7) the return of service for
Springer, showing service on January 11, 2016 at an address
in Midland. She also attached copies of the trial court's
show cause notice, the order dismissing the case, and the
order reinstating it.
response to the summary judgment motions,  Erven asserted
that whether he had used reasonable diligence in serving
Springer was a fact question and could not be decided via
summary judgment. In support, he attached an affidavit from
the investigator who he had hired to locate Springer, in
which the investigator discussed his attempts to locate her.
According to the investigator, he eventually located Springer
in Midland, Texas. Erven also attached an affidavit from the
process server who attempted to serve Springer in Carrollton.
trial court granted Springer's summary judgment motions
"in [their] entirety." Erven then filed a motion
for new trial, which the trial court denied. The trial court
severed Erven's claims against Springer from the suit,
Erven now appeals.
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