Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
Appeal from the 68th Judicial District Court Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. DC-15-06302
Justices Lang, Myers, and Stoddart
DOUGLAS S. LANG, JUSTICE
case, appellant Joainne Rhodes contends the trial court
improperly granted a default judgment in favor of appellee
Jerrie Kelly as to Kelly's claim to enforce an alleged
agreement to transfer an interest in real property. Further,
Rhodes claims the trial court erred by denying Rhodes's
motion for a new trial. Specifically, in three issues on
appeal, Rhodes asserts (1) she was entitled to a new trial
because she was not properly served with citation and,
alternatively, satisfied the requirements of Craddock v.
Sunshine Bus Lines, Inc., 133 S.W.2d 124, 126 (Tex.
1939); (2) "[Kelly's] petition and motion for
default judgment do not present sufficient evidence to grant
a default judgment and fail upon the face of the
documents"; and (3) Kelly was not entitled to recover
the attorney's fees awarded to her by the trial court.
decide against Rhodes on her three issues. The trial
court's judgment is affirmed.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL CONTEXT
and Kelly are sisters. In 2011, Rhodes and her son, Aaron
Glover, co-owned a residential property located at 418 S.E.
13th Street in Grand Prairie, Texas ("the Property).
Pursuant to a written lease agreement between Rhodes and
Kelly dated June 21, 2011 ("the Lease"), Kelly
agreed to pay $300.00 per month rent to live at the Property.
2, 2015, Kelly filed this lawsuit against Rhodes and Glover.
In her petition, Kelly asserted in part,
In or about October 2012, Defendant Rhodes agreed to sell the
Property to Plaintiff in exchange for her providing full time
care for Plaintiff and Defendant Rhodes' two sisters.
Additionally, Plaintiff was to fix up the house and make it
habitable once again (following Defendant Glover's
damage). Finally, Plaintiff was to pay all taxes and other
amounts related to the Property as they became due. In
exchange for this, Plaintiff was to receive unencumbered
title to the Property from Defendant Rhodes.
Kelly contended "[s]ince October 2012, Plaintiff has
resided in and maintained the Property as her homestead"
and "[d]espite spending over $30, 000.00 on improvements
and expenses related to the Property (including the taxes
owed), Defendants have refused and continue to refuse to
recognize Plaintiff's interest in the Property."
asserted claims for "breach of contract (specific
performance), " "quiet title action, " and
promissory estoppel. Specifically, as to her breach of
contract claim, Kelly stated in part (1)"Rhodes and
Plaintiff entered into a valid agreement regarding the
purchase of the Property"; (2) "Plaintiff has
performed her contractual obligations"; (3)
"Defendants have breached the contract by, without
limitation, attempting to remove Plaintiff from the Property
and failing to provide Plaintiff with title to the Property
consistent with her ownership interest"; and (4)
"[b]ecause Plaintiff has already paid for the Property
in full, she seeks specific performance through
Defendants' conveyance of legal, unencumbered title to
the Property to Plaintiff." As to her "quiet title
action, " Kelly stated in part (1) "Defendant
Rhodes agreed to provide Plaintiff with title to the Property
in exchange for her providing medical care and assistance to
their sisters and for making repairs and improvements
following Defendant Glover's
destruction/abandonment" and (2) "each
Defendants' refusal to allow the title of the Property to
accurately reflect Plaintiff's ownership interest clouds
the title of Plaintiff to the Property, depreciates the
market value, and prevents Plaintiff from enjoying the use of
the Property in her own best interest as owner."
Further, Kelly stated in the petition (1) "[i]n addition
to the above amount, Plaintiff is entitled to recover
reasonable attorney fees as defined in conformity with §
38.001 Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, " see
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 38.001 (West
2015), and (2) "Plaintiff is therefore entitled to
recover from Defendant an additional sum to compensate
Plaintiff for a reasonable fee for such attorney's
necessary services in the preparation and prosecution of this
action, as well as a reasonable fee for any and all necessary
appeals to other courts."
September 18, 2015, Kelly filed a motion for default judgment
in which she requested judgment against Rhodes and Glover
"quieting title to the subject property in favor of
Plaintiff and awarding damages and attorney's fees as
stated herein." Further, Kelly stated in the motion (1)
"[o]n July 3, 2015, Defendants Aaron Glover and Joainne
Rhodes were each properly served with citation and a copy of
Plaintiff's Petition via personal service, "; (2)
"Defendants have not filed an Answer, or any pleading
constituting an Answer, and have not entered an
appearance"; (3) "Plaintiff is entitled to a
default judgment quieting title to the Property in
Plaintiff's name and awarding the damages detailed in the
attached Affidavit of Jerrie Kelly"; and (4)
"[p]ursuant to the Lease, Plaintiff requested reasonable
and necessary attorney fees and attaches as Exhibit
'J' the Affidavit of Corey Herrick proving attorney
fees in this case and incorporates same by this
reference." The exhibits attached to Kelly's motion
included, among other things, affidavits by her and
Herrick and copies of the Lease and several
documents purportedly pertaining to payments made by Kelly
described in her affidavit.
trial court signed a default judgment against Rhodes and
Glover dated September 25, 2015. On October 9, 2015, both
defendants filed general denial answers and motions for new
trial. In an order dated November 19, 2015, the trial
court's September 25, 2015 default judgment was set aside
as to Glover and the case was reinstated as to the claims
approximately June 1, 2016, Kelly nonsuited her claims
against Glover. Subsequently, the trial court signed a
"Final Judgment" dated June 2, 2016, in which it
(1) granted Kelly's motion for default judgment as to
Rhodes; (2) awarded Rhodes's interest in the Property to
Kelly; and (3) awarded Kelly damages against Rhodes in the
amount of $10, 547.05, attorney's fees and costs against
Rhodes in the amount of $6, 091.00, and additional
attorney's fees against Rhodes in the event that Kelly
prevails at certain "postjudgment stages."
filed a motion for new trial on June 13, 2016. In that
motion, Rhodes asserted arguments under three headings:
"defective service of citation, " "petition
does not support default judgment, " and "mistake
or accident." Under "defective service of citation,
" Rhodes contended in part (1) "Defendant was never
served"; (2) "Defendant[s] reside in West Chicago,
Illinois however [sic] the return of service states that they
were served on July 3, 2015 at 418 SE 18th Street, Grand
Prairie, Texas 75051 at which neither Defendant
resides"; (3) "Plaintiff falsified service
documents"; and (4) the trial court "could not have
granted a default judgment on the claim to Quiet Title with
the pleadings and evidence filed with the [trial court] by
Plaintiff." Under the second heading, i.e.,
"[p]etition does not support default judgment, "
Rhodes asserted in part (1) "Plaintiff has provided no
contract that was executed between all the parties"; (2)
"[t]hus, Plaintiff's petition does not support the
default judgment"; (3) "[t]o prevail in a suit to
quiet title, a plaintiff must prove . . . he has an interest
in a specific property"; and (4) "[n]othing in the
Plaintiff's pleading shows she has an interest in the
Property." Under the third heading in her motion for new
trial, Rhodes asserted that when a defendant does not file an
answer because of a "mistake or accident, " the
trial court should set aside the default judgment and grant a
new trial if the defendant can meet the requirements of
Craddock. See 133 S.W.2d at 126. Specifically,
Rhodes argued the requirements of Craddock were met
in this case because:
14. . . . Defendant's failure to answer was not
intentional, but was accidental. Specifically, she were [sic]
never served with citation. Defendant at the time of service
was barred from leaving the State of Illinois due to being
out of jail on bond. . . .
15. . . . Defendant has a meritorious defense. Specifically,
Defendant never entered into contract with Plaintiff for the
purchase of any interest in the property. . . . [and]
16.. . . [A] new trial will not cause delay or otherwise
injure Plaintiff. Defendant is ready for trial.
exhibits attached to Rhodes's motion for new trial
included (1) a copy of an August 19, 2015 demand letter
respecting the Property sent by Kelly's counsel to Rhodes
and Glover at an address in West Chicago, Illinois; (2) an
affidavit of Glover; (3) an affidavit of Jim Lytle, described
by Rhodes as her son's friend; (4) an "Affidavit of
Service" by Charles P. Goodson pertaining to this case,
with an attached "citation"; (5) a copy of an
"Appearance Bond" pertaining to Rhodes's
appearance in a criminal case against her in a state court in
McLean County, Illinois, which bond stated in part that she
was not to leave Illinois "without permission of the
Court"; (6) a "receipt voucher" from the court
in that same Illinois case, showing a fee was paid for a
"copy of bond form"; and (7) a printout of a search
result from a McLean County, Illinois, government website,
showing details of criminal proceedings against Rhodes in
hearing on Rhodes's motion for new trial was held on July
18, 2016. Both sides appeared through counsel, but no live
testimony was presented by either side. According to the
reporter's record, counsel for Rhodes asserted in part
(1) "I have three witnesses to testify that Ms. Rhodes
was living in Chicago. Was at a picnic, family picnic on July
3rd, the day of the alleged service of citation, and
therefore couldn't be here"; (2) the trial court has
no "power to grant a default judgment" because
"the face of their petition is defective"; (3)
"[t]he statute of limitations for oral contract is two
years" and that limitations period expired before this
suit was filed; (4) "[the] Statute of Frauds prevents
the transfer of property on an oral contract"; (5) a
suit to quiet title requires an interest in property, which
"is only through a deed or a contract, none of which
they have"; and (6) "the petition does not give
enough evidence to prove that they're entitled to the
claims they are seeking."
for Kelly objected to several of the exhibits attached to the
motion for new trial. Specifically, (1) objections to the
McLean County, Illinois, appearance bond, receipt voucher,
and website printout described above were asserted on the
grounds of lack of authentication and hearsay, and (2) an
objection to Lytle's affidavit was asserted on the ground
of lack of basis for his personal knowledge. The objections
were not ruled upon. Additionally, counsel for Kelly argued
(1) "service was effective on Ms. Rhodes in July
2015"; (2) "[w]e know this because we have an
affidavit of service on file from a private process server
firm"; (3) "the return of service speaks for
itself"; (4) "[t]he process server, Charles
Gibbons, I believe, is here today prepared to offer testimony
if the Court would prefer"; (5) a parole order in
Illinois "doesn't mean you can't violate that by
coming to Texas"; (6) there is no evidence that Kelly
falsified service documents; (7) "it's clear that
[Kelly] filed causes of action, breach of contract, suit for
quiet title, and in the alternative, promissory
estoppel" and "did have testimony" in her
motion; (8) Rhodes's Craddock argument
"confuses the motion" because Craddock
"presumes that service was indeed effective"; and
(9) regardless, Rhodes has not fulfilled the requirements of
for Rhodes responded in part (1) Lytle "is here to
testify that at the time of service the Defendant was in
Illinois at a family barbecue" and (2) the McLean County
documents in question are "self-authenticating."
order dated July 18, 2016, Rhodes's motion for new trial
was denied. This appeal timely followed.
DENIAL OF MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL
Standard of Review
review a trial court's denial of a motion for new trial
after a default judgment for abuse of discretion. See,
e.g., MobileVision Imaging Serv., L.L.C. v. LifeCare Hosp. of
N. Tex., L.P., 260 S.W.3d 561, 564 (Tex. App.-Dallas
2008, no pet.) (citing In re R.R., 209 S.W.3d 112,
114 (Tex. 2006) (per curiam)). A trial court abuses its
discretion if it acts in an unreasonable or arbitrary manner
or without reference to any guiding rules and principles.
See Cire v. Cummings, 134 S.W.3d 835,
838-39 (Tex. 2004); see also Cooper v. Campbell, No.
05-15-00340-CV, 2016 WL 4487924, at *5 (Tex. App.-Dallas Aug.
24, 2016, no pet.) (mem. op.) (abuse of discretion does not
occur when trial court bases its decision on conflicting
evidence, as long as some evidence reasonably supports trial
first issue, Rhodes contends she was entitled to a new trial
because she was not served with citation and, alternatively,
she provided proof respecting all three Craddock
elements. We address those arguments in turn.
Service of Citation
defendant who was not served with process prior to a default
judgment is generally entitled to a new trial without any
further showing. See MobileVision Imaging Serv., 260
S.W.3d at 564 (citing Fid. & Guar. Ins. Co. v.
Drewery Constr. Co., Inc., 186 S.W.3d 571, 574 (Tex.
2006) (per curiam)). Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 106(a)
provides in part that, unless a citation or order of the
court directs otherwise, "the citation shall be served
by any person authorized by Rule 103 by . . . delivering to
the defendant, in person, a true copy of the citation with
the date of delivery endorsed thereon with a copy of the
petition attached thereto." Tex.R.Civ.P. 106(a). The
officer or authorized person executing the citation must
complete a return of service. Tex.R.Civ.P. 107(a). The
return, together with any document to which it is attached,
must include the following information: (1) the cause number
and case name; (2) the court in which the case is filed; (3)
a description of what was served; (4) the date and time the
process was received for service; (5) the person or entity
served; (6) the address served; (7) the date of service or
attempted service; (8) the manner of delivery of service or
attempted service; (9) the name of the person who served or
attempted to serve the process; (10) if the person named in
(9) is a process server certified under order of the Supreme
Court, his or her identification number and the expiration
date of his or her certification; and (11) any other
information required by rule or law. Tex.R.Civ.P. 107(b). No
default judgment shall be granted in any cause until proof of
service shall have been on file with the clerk of the court
ten days, exclusive of the day of filing and the day of
judgment. Tex.R.Civ.P. 107(h); see also Tex. R. Civ.
P. 239 (at any time after defendant is required to answer,
"the plaintiff may in term time take judgment by default
against such defendant if he has not previously filed an
answer, and provided that the return of service shall have
been on file with the clerk for the length of time required
by Rule 107").
of citation must be in strict compliance with the rules of
civil procedure to establish jurisdiction over a defendant
and support a default judgment. See, e.g., Wilson v.
Dunn, 800 S.W.2d 833, 836 (Tex. 1990); see also
Adame v. Palisades Collection, L.L.C., No.
05-11-00793-CV, 2012 WL 2564717, at *1-2 (Tex. App.-Dallas
Jul. 3, 2012, no pet.) (mem. op.) (defective service may be
raised for first time on appeal). "If strict compliance
is not shown, the service of process is invalid and of no
effect." Cervantes v. Cervantes, No.
03-07-00381-CV, 2009 WL 3682637, at *3 (Tex. App.-Austin Nov.
5, 2009, no pet.) (mem. op.) (citing Uvalde Country Club
v. Martin Linen Supply Co., 690 S.W.2d 884, 885 (Tex.
1985)); see also Wilson, 800 S.W.2d at 836 (default
judgment is improper against defendant who has not been
served in strict compliance with law, even if he has actual
knowledge of lawsuit). "In a direct attack on a default
judgment, there are no presumptions in favor of a valid
issuance, service, and return of the citation."
Adame, 2012 WL 2564717, at *2.
strict compliance with the rules does not require
'obeisance to the minutest detail.'"
Westcliffe, Inc. v. Bear Creek Constr., Ltd., 105
S.W.3d 286, 290 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2003, no pet.) (quoting
Herbert v. Greater Gulf Coast Enters., Inc., 915
S.W.2d 866, 871 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, no
writ)); Cervantes, 2009 WL 3682637, at *3.
"Errors such as mistaken capitalization in the
defendant's name and spelling errors too minor to raise
any doubt that the correct person was served are insufficient
to validate service." Westcliffe, 105 S.W.3d at
290. "As long as the record as a whole, including the
petition, citation, and return, shows that the citation was
served on the defendant in the suit, service of process will
not be invalidated." Cervantes, 2009 WL
3682637, at *3 (quoting Williams v. Williams, 150
S.W.3d 436, 444 (Tex. App.-Austin 2004, pet. denied)).
defendant did not receive suit papers, generally a default
judgment must be set aside. Id. at *5. However, an
exception to this rule exists when the return of service
includes the proper recitations and nonreceipt is
uncorroborated. Id. The return of service is
considered prima facie evidence of the facts asserted
therein. Id. "The recitations in the return of
service carry so much weight that they cannot be rebutted by
the uncorroborated proof of the moving party."
Primate Constr., Inc. v. Silver, 884 S.W.2d 151, 152
(Tex. 1994); accord Adame, 2012 WL 2564717, at *2;
Cervantes, 2009 WL 3682637, at *5.
Application of Law to Facts
argues (1) she provided two affidavits "to support that
she was not in Texas at the time of alleged service";
(2) she "was also prepared to have live testimony from
two individuals that would attest to her being in West
Chicago, Illinois at a family picnic at the time of the
alleged service"; (3) service of citation on her
personally at "418 SE 18th Street, Grand Prairie, Texas
75051" on the date alleged "was an
impossibility" because at the time of the alleged
service of citation, she "was free on bond in Illinois
and, per her bond agreement, prohibited from leaving the
state till after her case was adjudicated without prior
approval"; (4) "the address listed in the affidavit
of the process server does not even exist"; and (5)
"[i]t has historically been the practice of courts in
Texas to liberally grant motion for new trials [sic] when a
no answer default judgment has been entered if the Appellant
provides more than just bare allegation of no service."
Additionally, in her reply brief in this Court, Rhodes
asserts she provided "self-authenticating evidence that
at the time of alleged service she was not allowed to leave
the State of Illinois" and "[t]hus, her evidence
was not hearsay or it fell under an exception to the hearsay
rule and as such was admissible evidence to prove non-service
responds (1) Lytle's affidavit "failed to state the
basis for any personal knowledge he claimed to possess
regarding Appellant" and was "irrelevant"; (2)
the other evidence objected to by Kelly at the hearing
described above was "unauthenticated" and
"hearsay"; (3) "the mere fact that leaving
Illinois . . . may have allegedly violated [Rhodes's]
parole does not establish that she could not have done
so"; and (4) although the process server's return of
service "incorrectly notes the address for service as
'418 S.E. 18th Street' instead of '418 S.E. 13th
Street, ' which is the address of the [Property], "
"[t]his typographical error does not negate the fact
that service was effected on Ms. Rhodes."
described above, "[t]he recitations in the return of
service carry so much weight that they cannot be rebutted by
the uncorroborated proof of the moving party."
Primate Constr., Inc., 884 S.W.2d at 152.
Accordingly, we turn to Rhodes's "proof"
respecting her assertion that she was not served. See
id. The record shows Goodson stated in the
"Affidavit of Service" that "on the 3rd day of
July, 2015 at 3:15 pm, I: executed service by delivering a
true copy of the Citation, Copy of Plaintiff's Original
Petition and Request for Disclosures, to Joainne Rhodes
personally at 418 S E 18th Street, Grand Prairie, TX 75051,
and informed said person of the contents therein, in
compliance with state statutes." The parties do not
dispute that the address of the Property is "418 S.E.
13th Street." However, Rhodes cites no evidence in the
record to support her position that "the address listed
in the affidavit of the process server does not even
exist." Moreover, to the extent Rhodes contends the
address listed in the affidavit of the process server
contained an error, (1) such alleged error consisted of only
one incorrect digit, i.e., an "8" in place of a
"3, and (2) the process server's affidavit states a
copy of the citation was delivered to "Joainne Rhodes
personally." Rhodes does not explain, and the record
does not show, how the alleged incorrect digit "raise[d]
any doubt" as to the identity of the person served.
See Westcliffe, 105 S.W.3d at 290-91 (concluding
unauthorized correction of typographical error in address
where defendant could be found and served did not invalidate
service, where petition, citation, and return established
proper person was served).
Rhodes cites Texas Rule of Evidence 902 in support of her
position that her evidence respecting proceedings against her
in McLean County, Illinois, was
"self-authenticating." Specifically, Rhodes
contends in part that her "Appearance Bond" and the
receipt voucher showing payment for a copy of that bond are
self-authenticating under subsections (2) and (4) of rule
902. The record shows the "Appearance Bond"
contains (1) a "Certificate of Defendant" signed by
Rhodes in which she certifies she understands the terms and
conditions of the bond and (2) a box containing the
statement, "Signed and acknowledged before me and bond
received by me this 6th day of February, 2015, " with an
"official signature" below that statement. There
are no other signatures or certifications on either document.
Rhodes does not explain, and the record does not show, how
those documents meet (1) the requirement of subsection
902(2)(B) respecting certification by a public officer as to
the official signature on the document and the capacity of
the signer or (2) the requirement of subsection 902(4)
requiring certification of a copy as correct. Further, Rhodes
contends subsection 902(5) applies to the printout of a
search result from a McLean County, Illinois, government
website, showing details of criminal proceedings against
Rhodes in that county. Rhodes cites no authority to support
her position that a website search result is a
"publication" for purposes of that subsection.
Moreover, (1) that search result merely lists details of
Illinois criminal proceedings against Rhodes and does not
describe a requirement to remain in Illinois, and (2) none of
the McLean County evidence shows Rhodes was physically
prevented from leaving Illinois or purports to describe her
location on the date of the alleged service in question.
Rhodes relies on (1) the affidavits of Glover and Lytle and
(2) her assertions that she was "prepared to have live
testimony from two individuals that would attest to her being
in West Chicago, Illinois at a family picnic at the time of
the alleged service" and "[i]t has historically
been the practice of courts in Texas to liberally grant
motion for new trials [sic] when a no answer default judgment
has been entered if the Appellant provides more than just
bare allegation of no service." In the portion of her
appellate brief respecting those arguments, Rhodes cites
generally to Limestone Construction, Inc. v. Summit
Commercial Industrial Properties, Inc., 143 S.W.3d 538
(Tex. App.-Austin 2004, no pet.).
record does not show any live testimony was presented at the
hearing described above or that Rhodes objected to the lack
of such testimony. Further, although Glover stated in his
affidavit that Rhodes "does not reside in Texas, "
"was living with me at the alleged time of service in
West Chicago, Illinois, " and "was residing in West
Chicago, Illinois at the time of the alleged service due to
her being out on bond and unable to leave the state, "
none of those statements specifically address Rhodes's
location on the alleged date of service in question or
preclude her presence in Texas on that date. Additionally,
Lytle stated in part in his affidavit that "Rhodes was
in West Chicago at the time of the alleged service."
However, in a challenge to a return of service, "[t]he
test of the evidence, from whatever source, is whether it
demonstrates independent facts and circumstances
that support, and thus corroborate, the challenger's
claim." In re Spiller, 303 S.W.3d 426, 432
(Tex. App.-Waco 2010, no pet.) (emphasis added) (quoting
Min v. Avila, 991 S.W.2d 495, 503 (Tex. App.-Houston
[1st Dist.] 1999, no pet.)). Lytle did not testify in his
affidavit that he saw Rhodes in Chicago, nor does Rhodes
explain how Lytle's statement demonstrates any
"independent facts or circumstances" respecting her
position. See id. Further, the record contains no
affidavit or testimony of Rhodes respecting whether she was
served. Rhodes cites no authority, and we have found none, to
support the position that Lytle's affidavit, alone, meets
the requirement to show more than "uncorroborated proof
of the moving party." See Primate Constr.,
Inc., 884 S.W.2d at 152; Davis v. Davis, 521
S.W.2d 952, 954 (Tex. Civ. App.-Fort Worth 1975, no writ) (in
order to dispute recitations in return of service,
"[t]here should be at least two witnesses or one witness
with strong corroborative facts and circumstances proceeding
from a source other than the witness").
the case cited by Rhodes, Limestone, involved an
appeal from the overruling of plaintiff Limestone
Construction, Inc.'s motion for new trial following a
default no-evidence summary judgment in favor of defendant
Summit Commercial Industrial Properties, Inc. See
143 S.W.3d at 540. Limestone's motion for new trial was
based solely on its claim that it did not receive prior
notice of Summit's summary judgment motion and hearing.
Id. at 544. The court of appeals stated in part,
"We initially note that the historical trend is towards
the liberal granting of motions for new trial filed after
default judgments. But bare allegations of lack of notice do
not suffice; instead, the nonmovant must offer evidence,
either in the form of an affidavit or live testimony."
Id. (citations omitted). Then, the court of appeals
stated "[i]n this case, the presumption of service was
rebutted in two ways, " i.e. by an affidavit of
Limestone's attorney denying receipt of notice of the
summary judgment motion and by Summit's own affidavit,
which showed the package containing the summary judgment
motion was eventually returned to Summit by the postal
service as "unclaimed." Id. at 544-45. The
court of appeals concluded that evidence warranted reversal
of the denial of Limestone's motion for new trial.
Id. at 547.
case before us, to the extent Rhodes argues that pursuant to
Limestone, she was required merely to provide
"more than just bare allegation of no service" to
prevail on her challenge respecting service of citation, we
disagree. Limestone did not mention or address the
"corroboration" requirement described above.
See Primate Constr., Inc., 884 S.W.2d at 152.
Further, Limestone (1) involved a presumption of
service that was rebutted "in two ways" and (2) is
not necessarily inconsistent with the corroboration
requirement described above. See id. We decline to
adopt Rhodes's interpretation of Limestone.
record, we conclude the trial court did not abuse its
discretion by concluding the recitations in the return of
service were not rebutted by Rhodes. See id.;
Adame, 2012 WL 2564717, at *2; Cervantes,
2009 WL 3682637, at *5. Accordingly, we conclude the trial
court did not abuse its ...