Appeal from the County Court at Law Ector County, Texas Trial
Court Cause No. CC-10, 128-T
consists of: Wright, C.J., Willson, J., and Bailey, J.
County Appraisal District sued Victor Dewayne White for the
recovery of delinquent ad valorem taxes. The trial court
found that White was delinquent in the payment of property
taxes in the amount of $1, 634.31 and authorized Ector County
Appraisal District to foreclose on the property. On appeal,
White requests that this court grant his "Writ of Quo
Warranto, " vacate the judgment, and vacate what he
describes as a "void" judgment. We affirm.
Background Facts and Procedural History
Appraisal District alleged that White had failed to pay his
property taxes on certain real property in Ector County and
filed suit. The Ector County Sherriff's Department
completed service of the citation and petition on White, who
was incarcerated in the Ector County Detention Center.
Although White never filed an answer in the suit, he filed a
motion to dismiss the case. The Appraisal District amended
its petition and moved the trial court to set a tax hearing;
the Appraisal District served the motion on all parties and
counsel that had appeared. White acknowledged in his
appellate brief that he received notice of the tax hearing.
The trial court set the tax hearing for January 23, 2017. On
that date, the Appraisal District appeared with counsel and
announced ready, while White, who was not represented by
counsel, did not appear. White also had not requested to
appear by other means.
the Appraisal District adduced evidence of the delinquent
taxes that White owed for his property, as shown in certified
copies of tax records, it moved for the admission of that
evidence, which the trial court admitted. White presented no
evidence in response to the Appraisal District's
evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court
entered judgment in favor of the Appraisal District.
asserts multiple complaints in his "Writ of Quo
Warranto, " which this court accepted as his brief in
this appeal. White also filed a reply brief in response to
the Appraisal District's brief. Because of the
multiplicity of complaints, we do not recite them here but,
instead, address them in our analysis below.
Standard of Review
bench trial, the trial court, as factfinder, is the sole
judge of the credibility of the witnesses. Sw. Bell
Media, Inc. v. Lyles, 825 S.W.2d 488, 493 (Tex. App.-
Houston [1st Dist.] 1992, writ denied). When neither party
requests findings of fact and conclusions of law following a
nonjury trial, all fact findings necessary to support the
trial court's judgment are implied. Shields Ltd.
P'ship v. Bradberry, 526 S.W.3d 471, 480 (Tex. 2017)
(citing Sixth RMA Partners, L.P. v. Sibley, 111
S.W.3d 46, 52 (Tex. 2003)). When, however, as in this cause,
a reporter's record is filed, the trial court's
implied findings are not conclusive and may be challenged for
legal and factual sufficiency. BMC Software Belg., N.V.
v. Marchand, 83 S.W.3d 789, 795 (Tex. 2002). We conduct
any review of sufficiency challenges to implied findings
under the same standards of review that govern sufficiency
challenges to jury findings or a trial court's findings
of fact. Jistel v. Tiffany Trail Owners Ass'n,
Inc., 215 S.W.3d 474, 479 (Tex. App.-Eastland 2006,
no pet.) (citing Roberson v. Robinson, 768
S.W.2d 280, 281 (Tex. 1989)). In the absence of findings, we
will affirm the judgment of the trial court if it can be
upheld on any available legal theory that finds support in
the evidence. Point Lookout West, Inc. v. Whorton,
742 S.W.2d 277, 278 (Tex. 1987).
White has asserted complaints on appeal that either were not
preserved or have been waived.
asserts many complaints that are unrelated to his appeal of a
delinquent tax case. White first argues that this court
should grant his "Writ of Quo Warranto" because of
alleged bad acts by several county employees. White also
complains of alleged fraudulent acts by a now-deceased
justice of the peace. Quo warranto proceedings provide the
exclusive means by which the public may protect itself from
unlawful occupancy of a public office. Norville v.
Parnell, 118 S.W.3d 503, 505 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2003,
pet. denied). However, White's appeal arises out of a
suit over his failure to pay property taxes. None of his
complaints in his brief about alleged county employees'
actions and a deceased justice of the peace were before the
trial court, nor was his quo warranto claim before the trial
court. A judgment must be based upon pleadings, and as the
Texas Supreme Court has stated, "[A] plaintiff may not
sustain a favorable judgment on an unpleaded cause of action,
in the absence of trial by consent . . . ." Stoner
v. Thompson, 578 S.W.2d 679, 682-83 (Tex. 1979) (quoting
Oil Field Haulers Ass'n v. R.R. Comm'n, 381
S.W.2d 183, 191 (Tex. 1964)). White's unpleaded
complaints were not tried by consent and are ...