Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Vasquez v. Old Austin Road Land Trust

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

June 14, 2017

Beatrice VASQUEZ and Darryl De La Cruz, Appellants
v.
OLD AUSTIN ROAD LAND TRUST; Joseph Anthony Pizzini, Individually and as Trustee of Old Austin Road Land Trust; and John Price; Appellees

         From the 438th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2015-CI-20809 Honorable David A. Canales, Judge Presiding

         AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.

          Sitting: Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice, Marialyn Barnard, Justice, Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice.

         Appellants Beatrice Vasquez and Darryl De La Cruz appeal a summary judgment granted in favor of Appellees Old Austin Road Land Trust; Joseph Anthony Pizzini, individually, and as trustee of Old Austin Road Land Trust; and John Price. Appellants contend the trial court erred in granting a traditional summary judgment on the appellees' affirmative defenses of bona fide purchaser and collateral estoppel. Appellants further contend the trial court erred in granting a no-evidence summary judgment on their DTPA, fraudulent transfer, civil conspiracy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. Finally, appellants contend the trial court erred in ruling on objections to the summary judgment evidence.

         Background

         In 1998, De La Cruz acquired a lot in Selma, Texas. De La Cruz allowed Vasquez, his aunt, to build a house on the lot.

         In 1999, De La Cruz executed a deed conveying the property to Ralph Carpenter. De La Cruz and Vasquez subsequently sued Carpenter for DTPA violations arising from the conveyance. A jury found Carpenter engaged in "false, misleading and/or deceptive acts or practices that Beatrice Vasquez relied on to her detriment" and an unconscionable action or course of action against Appellants, and it awarded Vasquez $210, 980.00 in damages.

         On April 19, 2013, Carpenter conveyed the property to Old Austin Road Land Trust. On May 17, 2013, the appellants filed the underlying lawsuit against Carpenter and the appellees asserting numerous causes of action. The appellants obtained a temporary injunction ordering Carpenter and the appellees to cease any type of action that would interfere with Vasquez's quiet possession of the property during the pendency of the lawsuit.

         The appellees filed a hybrid motion for summary judgment. In their traditional motion, they moved for summary judgment on their affirmative defenses of bona fide purchaser and collateral estoppel. In their no-evidence motion, they challenged each of the appellants' claims asserted against them. The trial court signed an order granting the appellees' motion for summary judgment and severed the judgment into a separate cause.

         Standard of Review

         "We review the grant of [a] summary judgment de novo." Katy Venture, Ltd. v. Cremona Bistro Corp., 469 S.W.3d 160, 163 (Tex. 2015). To prevail on a traditional motion for summary judgment, the movant must show "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the [movant] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Tex.R.Civ.P. 166a(c); accord Katy Venture, 469 S.W.3d at 163. A trial court must grant a no-evidence motion for summary judgment unless the nonmovant raises a genuine issue of material fact on each challenged element of the nonmovant's claims. KCM Fin. LLC v. Bradshaw, 457 S.W.3d 70, 79 (Tex. 2015). We take as true all evidence favorable to the nonmovant, resolve all conflicts in the evidence in the nonmovant's favor, and indulge every reasonable inference and resolve any doubts in the nonmovant's favor. Katy Venture, 469 S.W.3d at 163.

         Summary Judgment In Favor of Carpenter

         The appellants generally challenge the trial court's order granting summary judgment on any of their claims against Carpenter. Carpenter was not a party to the summary judgment proceedings because he did not file a motion for summary judgment or otherwise join the appellees' motion. "A trial court may not grant summary judgment in favor of a party that does not properly move for it by motion." Willy v. Winkler, No. 01-10-00115-CV, 2010 WL 5187719, at *2 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 23, 2010, no pet.) (mem. op.) (citing Teer v. Duddleston, 664 S.W.2d 702, 703 (Tex. 1984) (holding the trial court erred in adjudicating the rights of a party who did not move for summary judgment)). Accordingly, those portions of the trial court's order granting summary judgment on any of the appellants' claims against Carpenter are reversed. In addition, to the extent the trial court's severance order severed any of the appellants' claims against Carpenter into the severed cause, that portion of the severance order is also reversed, and all of the appellants' claims against Carpenter remain pending in the original cause.

         Bona Fide Purchaser

         The appellees moved for traditional summary judgment on their affirmative defense of bona fide purchaser. The appellees asserted this defense in response to the appellants' trespass-to-try-title claim and the appellants' request to void the conveyance of the property from Carpenter to the appellees under the Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (TUFTA). See Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. §§ 24.001-.013 (West 2015 & Supp. 2016).

         A. Bona Fide Purchaser Defense to Title Dispute

         "Status as a bona fide purchaser is an affirmative defense to a title dispute." Madison v. Gordon, 39 S.W.3d 604, 606 (Tex. 2001). To be a bona fide purchaser, "one must acquire property in good faith, for value, and without notice of any third-party claim or interest." Id. "Notice may be constructive or actual." Id. "Constructive notice is notice the law ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.