Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
appeal from the 391st District Court of Tom Green County,
Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Longoria and Hinojosa
Memorandum Opinion by Chief Justice Valdez
ROGELIO VALDEZ Chief Justic
pro se, appellant Robert Gross appeals from a final divorce
decree. By two issues, appellant contends that the trial
court improperly awarded his separate property to his
ex-wife, appellee Jeanine Dannatt, and that his trial counsel
rendered ineffective assistance. We affirm.
I. Property Division
first issue, appellant contends that the trial court erred by
divesting him of his separate property. Appellant complains
that the trial court improperly awarded some of his separate
real property and separate bank accounts to appellee.
Appellee responds that appellant consented to the trial
court's judgment, and therefore, he may not appeal.
Standard of Review and Applicable Law
review property division incident to divorce under an abuse
of discretion standard. Garcia v. Garcia, 170 S.W.3d
644, 648 (Tex. App.-El Paso 2005, no pet.). A trial court
abuses its discretion if it acts without reference to any
guiding rules and principles. Id. at 649; See
Downer v. Aquamarine Operators, Inc., 701 S.W.2d 238,
241- 42 (Tex. 1985). Under the abuse of discretion standard
applied in family law cases, legal and factual sufficiency of
the evidence are not independent grounds of error, but are
relevant factors for determining whether the trial court
abused its discretion. Boyd v. Boyd, 131 S.W.3d 605,
611 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2004, no pet.).
when the trial court stated that it would follow the
parties' proposed decree, appellant stated that he agreed
with "everything in the decree" except those
matters that he had contested. At trial, appellant contested the
appraised value of some of the real property, disagreed on
the nature of a loan to his brother-in-law, and claimed an
interest in appellee's bank account. Appellant does
not complain of the trial court's rulings on these
matters. And, appellant did not contest, and explicitly
agreed, to the division of the property as stated in the
divorce decree. Therefore, because appellant agreed to the
divorce decree regarding the complained-of property, he has
waived error, if any. See Baw v. Baw, 949 S.W.2d 764,
766 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1997, no pet.) ("A party's
consent to the trial court's entry of judgment waives any
error, except for jurisdictional error, contained in the
judgment, and that party has nothing to properly present for
appellate review."); see also DeClaris Assocs. v.
McCoy Workplace Sols., L.P., 331 S.W.3d 556, 560 (Tex.
App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2011, no pet.) (providing that
consent to judgment may be indicated in the record or in the
judgment). We overrule appellant's first issue.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
second issue, appellant complains that his trial counsel
rendered ineffective assistance. However, the doctrine of
ineffective assistance of counsel does not extend to civil
cases. McCoy v. Tex. Instruments, Inc., 183 S.W.3d
548, 553 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2006, no pet.). Accordingly, we
overrule appellant's second issue.
Damages for Frivolous Appeal
that this appeal is frivolous, appellee requests that we
impose sanctions on appellant. See Tex. R. App. P.
45 (allowing a court of appeals to impose sanctions in
frivolous appeals). Pursuant to rule 45, if we determine that
this appeal is frivolous, we may award just damages to the
prevailing party. Id.; see Durham v.
Zarcades, 270 S.W.3d 708, 720 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth
2008, no pet.). "Whether to award damages is within this
[C]ourt's discretion, " and "[s]anctions should
be imposed only in egregious circumstances."
Durham, 270 ...