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Granata v. Kroese

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

January 10, 2018

THOMAS J. GRANATA, II, Appellant
v.
MICHAEL KROESE AND JUSTIN HILL, Appellees

         On Appeal from the 296th Judicial District Court Collin County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 296-01005-2016

          Before Justices Bridges, Myers, and Schenck.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          LANA MYERS JUSTICE.

         Thomas J. Granata, II appeals the trial court's judgment granting Michael Kroese and Justin Hill's motion for summary judgment and awarding them damages of $220, 000 plus interest on their suit for breach of a guaranty concerning a promissory note. Granata brings four issues on appeal contending the trial court erred by granting the motion for summary judgment because (1) the motion did not state a ground for summary judgment; (2) the only legal theory asserted in the motion was wrong as a matter of law; (3) appellees failed to present evidence in support of each element of their breach of contract claim; and (4) Granata's evidence created a fact issue that precluded summary judgment.

         BACKGROUND

         According to appellees' petition, they asserted a claim for breach of contract against Full Spectrum Diagnostics, LLC. That claim was settled before suit was filed by Full Spectrum executing a promissory note for $270, 000. Granata signed a statement at the end of the note stating, "I, Thomas J. Granata II, . . . hereby personally guaranty the amount indebted to the Lenders." Full Spectrum made one payment on the note in the amount of $50, 000 but made no payments thereafter.

         When the note came due and Full Spectrum failed to pay, appellees filed this suit alleging breach of contract against Full Spectrum for not paying the promissory note and against Granata for failing to pay Full Spectrum's indebtedness as he promised in the guaranty. Full Spectrum did not answer the suit, and appellees obtained a default judgment against it for $220, 000. Granata answered, asserting affirmative defenses, including lack of consideration and failure of a condition precedent. Appellees moved for summary judgment against Granata on his guaranty of the promissory note. The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment and awarded appellees "monetary relief" of $220, 000 plus interest.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The standard for reviewing a traditional summary judgment is well established. See Nixon v. Mr. Prop. Mgmt. Co., 690 S.W.2d 546, 548-49 (Tex. 1985); McAfee, Inc. v. Agilysys, Inc., 316 S.W.3d 820, 825 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2010, no pet.). The movant has the burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Tex.R.Civ.P. 166a(c). In deciding whether a disputed material fact issue exists precluding summary judgment, evidence favorable to the nonmovant will be taken as true. Nixon, 690 S.W.2d at 548-49; In re Estate of Berry, 280 S.W.3d 478, 480 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2009, no pet.). Every reasonable inference must be indulged in favor of the nonmovant and any doubts resolved in its favor. City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 824 (Tex. 2005). We review a summary judgment de novo to determine whether a party's right to prevail is established as a matter of law. Dickey v. Club Corp., 12 S.W.3d 172, 175 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2000, pet. denied).

         APPELLEES' SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION

         Appellees' summary judgment motion is brief. Therefore, we set forth the relevant portions of the motion in full.

         Summary of the Motion

Plaintiffs seek summary judgment on their claims against Thomas J. Granata, II because he guaranteed the debt of Full Spectrum Diagnostics, LLC. The default judgment was entered against Full Spectrum Diagnostics, LLC on June 1, 2016. Mr. Granata guaranteed the amount of indebtedness of Full Spectrum Diagnostics, LLC. Therefore, Plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment against Mr. Granata.
. . . .
Undisputed Facts
Mr. Granata guaranteed the promissory note made by Full Spectrum Diagnostics, LLC. Full Spectrum Diagnostics, LLC. only paid $50, 000 of the note via a third party. The note was to be repaid by October 26, 2015. No payment has been forthcoming on said promissory note cents [sic] the $50, 000 payment was made by the third-party.
On June 1, 2016, the court entered a default judgment against Full Spectrum Diagnostics, LLC based on the promissory note in the amount of the unpaid principal ...

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