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Lloyd v. Hensley

Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo

September 6, 2017

LANDRY ROBERT LLOYD, APPELLANT
v.
KACY JEANNE HENSLEY, APPELLEE

         On Appeal from the 237th District Court Lubbock County, Texas Trial Court No. 2016-519, 987; Honorable Les Hatch, Presiding

          Before QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PIRTLE, JJ.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Patrick A. Pirtle, Justice.

         On September 27, 2016, the trial court signed its Final Decree of Divorce, severing the bonds of matrimony between Appellant, Landry Robert Lloyd, and Appellee, Kacy Jeanne Hensley. By a single issue, Landry contends the trial court erred by denying his Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment. We affirm.

         Background

         Landry and Kacy were married on October 24, 2015. Less than five months later, they separated and ceased to live together as husband and wife. No children were born during the marriage and the parties accumulated no significant community property. Landry filed his petition for divorce on March 22, 2016, [1] and Lacy filed her counter-petition on May 10. The contested issues in the divorce centered on the characterization and division of three pieces of property: (1) Kacy's wedding ring, (2) a pair of women's earrings, and (3) a German Shepherd dog named "Black." On June 8, Landry requested a jury trial. The trial court scheduled trial to begin on Monday, August 1, and at a pretrial hearing held on Friday, July 29, Charles Blevins, Landry's counsel, made an oral motion in limine regarding a prior auto accident involving his client where two people were killed. Discussion surrounding that motion led to a discussion concerning fault in the breakup of the marriage. When Landry's counsel realized that fault had not been pled, he moved to amend his pleadings. The trial court denied that motion and the pretrial hearing recessed. Later that same day, Mr. Blevins notified the trial court that Landry was waiving his request for a jury trial.

         On Monday, August 1, the day trial was set to begin, Mr. Blevins appeared in court and filed a motion seeking to disqualify Kacy's attorney.[2] When the trial court denied that motion, Mr. Blevins attempted to dismiss Landry's petition. When the court informed him that it would stll proceed on Kacy's counter-petition, Mr. Blevins withdrew his oral motion to dismiss and advised the trial court that he would be filing a petition for writ of mandamus regarding the court's denial of his motion to disqualify. At that point, the record goes silent as to the discussions between the trial court and counsel. In that regard, the record reflects the following colloquy:

THE COURT: Let's go off the record.
(Recess.)
(Open Court, no jury.)
THE COURT: The Court calls Cause Number 2016-519, 987. This is
the Matter of the Marriage of Landry and Kacy Lloyd.
What says the Petitioner?
Let the record reflect that the Petitioner, attorney for Petitioner has indicated to the Court that he is leaving the courtroom to travel to his office to file Motion for Leave for Petition for Writ of Mandamus. The Court has indicated to Counsel for Petitioner that it is calling the case and proceeding with trial in the meantime. He has indicated that he has no objection, as long as our first witness is, in ...

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