Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
Robert TYSON, Carl and Kathy Taylor, Linda and Ron Tetrick, and Ruthie Nilson, Appellants
Robert N. FREEMAN II, as Principal of Medina Livestock Sales Company, Ltd.; Las Aves; Corcat Enterprises, LC; Mary Freeman; and Listo Development, Ltd., Appellees
the 198th Judicial District Court, Bandera County, Texas
Trial Court No. CV-13-0000356 Honorable M. Rex Emerson, Judge
Sitting: Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice Karen Angelini,
Justice Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice
PATRICIA O. ALVAREZ, JUSTICE
appeal several orders granting motions for summary judgment
which dispose of all remaining parties and claims in the
underlying cause. Appellants generally contend the trial
court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of each of
the appellees because the appellants raised genuine issues of
material fact sufficient to defeat the appellees'
motions. Appellants also contend the trial court erred in
relying on this court's prior opinion in Tyson v.
Boren, Nos. 04-14-00824-CV & 04-15-00006-CV, 2015 WL
10382908 (Tex. App.-San Antonio Mar. 2, 2015, no pet.) (mem.
op.), to grant summary judgment in favor of Robert N. Freeman
II, in his capacity as principal of Medina Livestock Sales
Company, Ltd. Finally, Appellants complain the trial court
erred in denying their request for findings of fact and
conclusions of law. We reverse the trial court's order
granting summary judgment in favor of Robert N. Freeman II,
in his capacity as principal of Medina Livestock Sales
Company, Ltd., and affirm the orders granting summary
judgment in favor of the other appellees.
filed the underlying petition alleging they are leaseholders
who signed lifetime leases of lots in a senior citizen
retirement community originally called "Las Aves
Retreat, " where they could park an RV or motor home.
They entered into the leases with Medina Livestock Sales Co.,
Ltd., a Texas limited partnership. Medina Ltd. sold Las Aves
Retreat to El Viaje Retreat, LLC, which took over the leases.
El Viaje LLC subsequently declared bankruptcy, and a
bankruptcy judge ruled the appellants' leases were not
enforceable and that El Viaje LLC could terminate the leases.
Based on this ruling, El Viaje LLC sent the appellants
letters terminating their leases.
initially sued Robert N. Freeman II, both individually and as
principal of Medina Ltd. They also sued two other individuals
involved in the "initial management" of Las Aves
Retreat. Robert and the two individuals filed motions for
summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The orders
were subsequently severed from the original cause and
affirmed by this court on appeal. Id. at *1. Our
prior opinion noted, however, that Robert "moved for
summary judgment on the individual claims against him."
Id. We alternately described the only pending claims
remaining in the original cause as "those against
Freeman in his capacity as 'principal' of [Medina
Ltd.]" and as the "claims against Medina Ltd."
Id. at *1, *5 n.2.
our opinion issued, the appellants amended their pleading to
add additional defendants, including Las Aves (the limited
partner of Medina Ltd.), Corcat Enterprises, LC (the general
partner of Medina Ltd.), Mary Freeman (Robert's wife),
and Listo Corporation, Ltd. (an entity to which Medina Ltd.
transferred the note it received from its sale of the Las
Aves Retreat to El Viaje LLC). In their amended pleading, the
appellants asserted claims for DTPA violations, common law
fraud, statutory fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligent
misrepresentation, negligence, gross negligence, and
fraudulent transfer. The amended pleading also contained
alter ego allegations.
filed a second motion for summary judgment asserting the
appellants' claims against him were barred as a matter of
law by the doctrines of (1) law of the case, (2) res
judicata, and (3) collateral estoppel. The other appellees
filed no evidence motions for summary judgment specifically
challenging each separate element of each of the
appellants' claims. The trial court signed separate
orders granting each Appellees' motion. Each order
contained identical language stating, "Defendant
[individual name]'s No-Evidence Motion for Summary
Judgment is hereby GRANTED." The appellants appeal.
review a trial court's order granting summary judgment de
novo . . . ." Cmty. Health Sys. Prof'l Servs.
Corp. v. Hansen, 525 S.W.3d 671, 680 (Tex. 2017).
"A [no evidence] motion for summary judgment must be
granted if: (1) the moving party asserts that there is no
evidence of one or more specified elements of a claim or
defense on which the adverse party would have the burden of
proof at trial; and (2) the respondent [fails to produce more
than a scintilla of] summary judgment evidence raising a
genuine issue of material fact on those elements."
Sudan v. Sudan, 199 S.W.3d 291, 292 (Tex. 2006);
accord Medistar Corp. v. Schmidt, 267 S.W.3d 150,
157 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 2008, pet. denied). 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 Nixon v. Mr.
Prop. Mgmt. Co., Inc., 690 S.W.2d 546, 548 (Tex. 1985).
In reviewing a summary judgment, we take as true all evidence
favorable to the nonmovant and indulge every reasonable
inference and resolve any doubts in the nonmovant's
favor. Cmty. Health Sys. Prof'l Servs. Corp.,
525 S.W.3d at 680.
of Fact and Conclusions of Law
the issues the appellants raise on appeal is that the trial
court erred in denying their request for findings of fact and
conclusions of law. The Texas Supreme Court, however, has
held "'findings of fact and conclusions of law have
no place in a summary judgment proceeding.'" IKB
Indus. (Nigeria) Ltd. v. Pro-Line Corp., 938 S.W.2d 440,
441 (Tex. 1997) (quoting Linwood v. NCNB Tex., 885
S.W.2d 102, 103 (Tex. 1994)). "The reason findings and
conclusions 'have no place' in a summary judgment
proceeding is that for summary judgment to be rendered, there
cannot be a 'genuine issue as to any material fact, '
and the legal grounds are limited to those stated in the
motion and response." Id. (citation omitted).
"In other words, if summary judgment is proper, there
are no facts to find, and the legal conclusions have already
been stated in the motion and response." Id.
Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying
Appellants' request for findings of fact and conclusions
of law. See id.
Summary Judgment ...