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Tarrant v. Scarbrough

Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler

December 13, 2017

ROGER TARRANT, DENISE TARRANT, JUSTIN TARRANT, AND THE D.A. TARRANT IRREVOCABLE TRUST, APPELLANTS
v.
DANIEL R. SCARBROUGH, APPELLEE

         Appeal from the 3rd District Court of Anderson County, Texas (Tr.Ct. No. DCCV16-0173-3)

          Panel consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          James T. Worthen Chief Justice

         Roger Tarrant, Denise Tarrant, Justin Tarrant, and the D.A. Tarrant Irrevocable Trust (collectively the Tarrants) appeal a default judgment entered against them in favor of Daniel R. Scarbrough in his suit for fraudulent transfer of property. In three issues, the Tarrants contend that the trial court erred in denying their motion for new trial, failing to give them due process of law, and rendering the judgment without legally and factually sufficient evidence. We affirm.

         Background

         Daniel R. Scarbrough represented Joshua Tarrant, son of Roger and Denise, in a capital murder trial. When Scarbrough was not paid for his legal services, he sued them for his attorney's fees, expenses, and costs. On October 28, 2014, a jury found Roger and Denise liable and awarded Scarbrough $115, 607.01. On November 21, Roger and Denise transferred their nonexempt real property to another son, Justin. On November 24, 2014, the trial court rendered judgment against Roger and Denise for $115, 607.01.

         When Roger and Denise failed to pay Scarbrough's judgment, he discovered there was no nonexempt property to be executed upon. He then filed suit against the Tarrants under the Texas Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (TUFTA) alleging the November 21 deed was a fraudulent conveyance. See Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. § 24.001 - .013 (West 2009 & Supp. 2017). The Tarrants filed a general denial. When responding to Scarbrough's interrogatories, the Tarrants indicated they had no nonexempt assets. On November 7, 2016, the district clerk for Anderson County sent the following notice of hearing to Jim Echols, attorney of record for the Tarrants, with a copy to Jeff Coe, attorney of record for Scarbrough:

ANDERSON COUNTY DISTRICT COURT 500 N. Church Street, Palestine, TX 75801 JUDGE Mark Calhoon
NOTICE OF SETTING JIM ECHOLS
202 W ERWIN SUITE 200 TYLER TX 75702
IN RE: CAUSE NO: DCCV16-017-3
DANIEL SCARBROUGH
v.
ROGER TARRANT, DENISE TARRANT, JUSTIN TARRANT, D.A. TARRANT
IRREVOCABLE TRUST
TAKE NOTICE that the above style and numbered cause has been set for FINAL on the 6th day of January, 2017 at 11:00 AM, IN THE ANDERSON ...

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