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.

Plainscapital Bank v. Gonzalez

Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg

August 31, 2017

PLAINSCAPITAL BANK, Appellant,
v.
BLANCA E. GONZALEZ AND JOSE S. RODRIGUEZ, Appellees.

         On appeal from the 139th District Court of Hidalgo County, Texas.

          Before Justices Rodriguez, Longoria and Hinojosa.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NORA L. LONGORIA Justice.

         Appellant PlainsCapital Bank (PCB) challenges an order denying its motion to compel arbitration of its claims against appellees Blanca E. Gonzalez and Jose S. Rodriguez. We reverse and remand.

         I. Background

         In May 2009, Gonzalez and Rodriguez executed separate, unsecured promissory notes, each in the amount of $250, 000, payable to First National Bank. The notes contained identical clauses requiring the parties to submit certain disputes to binding arbitration:

You or I may submit to binding arbitration any dispute, claim or other matter in question between or among you and me that arises out of or relates to this Transaction (Dispute), except as otherwise indicated in this section or as you and I agree to in writing. For purposes of this section, this Transaction includes this Note and the other Loan Documents, and proposed loans or extensions of credit that relate to this Note.
. . . .[1]
The arbitrator will determine whether a Dispute is arbitrable. A single arbitrator will resolve any Dispute, whether individual or joint in nature, or whether based on contract, tort, or any other matter at law or in equity. The arbitrator may consolidate any Dispute with any related disputes, claims or other matters in question not arising out of this Transaction. Any court having jurisdiction may enter a judgment or decree on the arbitrator's award. The judgment or decree will be enforced as any other judgment or decree.
. . . . The United States Arbitration Act will govern the interpretation and enforcement of this section.
The American Arbitration Association's Commercial Arbitration Rules in effect on the date of this Note, will govern the selection of the arbitrator and the arbitration process, unless otherwise agreed to in this Note or another writing.

         Several years later, First National Bank failed and was closed by the federal government. PCB acquired both notes as part of an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to purchase or assume some of First National Bank's assets.

         In October 2015, PCB filed separate lawsuits against each appellee alleging that each had defaulted. PCB sought to recover the outstanding balance on each note plus interest, costs, and attorney's fees. The trial court granted Gonzalez's unopposed motion to consolidate both cases under a single case number. Appellees jointly asserted four affirmative defenses and a counterclaim for declaratory relief that the loans were illegal and therefore invalid. Appellees also named Saul Ortega-the President of First National Bank at the time appellees signed the notes-as a third-party defendant and asserted causes of action against him for fraud and negligence.

         Approximately a year later, appellees served on PCB a notice of oral deposition of PCB employee Tony Fernandez. PCB filed a motion to quash the notice and, a few days later, a motion to compel appellees to arbitration.[2] Appellees responded that PCB had waived its right to arbitration and that appellees' counterclaims fell outside the scope of the arbitration clause. The trial court denied PCB's motion to compel without stating its reasons. This interlocutory appeal followed. By order of January 9, 2017, this Court stayed all further proceedings in the trial court.

         II. Arbitration

         PCB asserts in two issues that the trial court erred because: (1) the parties agreed to arbitrate any disputes over the scope of the arbitration agreement; and (2) PCB did not waive its right to arbitrate as a matter of law.

         A. Standard of Review ...


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.