Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
Appeal from the 192nd Judicial District Court Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. DC-15-03934
Justices Francis, Evans, and Boatright
Gobezie appeals from an adverse judgment after a trial before
the court on claims brought by Sandra Castillo and Jorgo
Valeriano arising out of their car purchase from Prolife Auto
Garland. Gobezie generally challenges the legal and factual
sufficiency of the evidence supporting the judgment against
her as well as the trial court's award of attorney's
fees. We affirm the trial court's judgment.
December 2014, appellees Sandra Castillo and her husband
Jorgo Valeriano traveled from Oklahoma to Garland, Texas to
purchase a 2003 Honda Accord being sold by Prolife Auto
Garland. Appellees paid $5000 cash for the vehicle after
obtaining a loan from their bank. At trial, Castillo
testified that she gave Gobezie the money for the car. After
they took possession of the vehicle and returned to Oklahoma,
however, appellees did not receive the paperwork to obtain
legal title to the vehicle. Appellees traveled six times from
Oklahoma to Garland attempting to resolve the title issue. On
their last visit to Garland, in March 2015, appellees were
given a $5000 check, but the bank refused to cash it. Unable
to get their money back or obtain legal title to the car,
appellees sued Gudaye Gobezie d/b/a Prolife Auto Garland and
others for, among other things, breach of implied warranty to
convey legal title and attorney's fees. The matter was
tried before the court sitting without a jury. The trial
rendered a judgment in favor of appellees, awarding them
$5000 in damages and $5100 in attorney's fees. Gobezie
filed this appeal.
Legal and Factual Sufficiency
contends the evidence is legally and/or factually
insufficient to support the damages awarded against her
because (a) there is no evidence connecting her or Prolife
Auto Garland to appellees' car purchase, (b) collateral
estoppel precludes a liability finding against Gobezie, and
(c) the trial court awarded appellees an impermissible double
turning to the merits of her sufficiency complaints, we first
address her briefing with respect to her factual sufficiency
challenge. Although Gobezie's stated "issue"
purports to challenge the legal and factual sufficiency of
the evidence, her brief contains no argument or legal
authority addressing a factual sufficiency challenge. The
section of her argument entitled "standard of
review" under this issue cites three Texas Supreme Court
cases, all addressing legal sufficiency. Finally, in her
prayer for relief, Gobezie requests that we render judgment
in her favor, a remedy available only in the context of a
legal sufficiency challenge. See Elias v. Mr.
Yamaha, Inc., 33 S.W.3d 54, 59 n.6 (Tex. App.-El
Paso 2000, no pet.). To present an issue to this Court, a
party must present a concise argument for the contention made
with appropriate citations to authorities and the record.
See Tex. R. App. P. 38.1(i). When a party fails to
provide any argument to support a stated issue, she presents
nothing for us to review. Because Gobezie has failed to
provide us with any argument, analysis, or authority in
support of her factual sufficiency challenge, we need not
address it. Accordingly, our analysis only addresses
Gobezie's legal sufficiency challenges.
as here, findings of fact were not requested by either party,
we imply all necessary findings to support the trial
court's judgment. See Shields Ltd. P'ship v.
Bradberry, 526 S.W.3d 471, 480 (Tex. 2017). But when a
reporter's record is filed, these implied findings may be
challenged for legal and factual sufficiency in the same
manner as jury findings or a trial court's express
findings. See Roberson v. Robinson, 768 S.W.2d 280,
281 (Tex. 1989) (per curiam). In the absence of findings, we
affirm the trial court's judgment if it can be upheld on
any available legal theory that is supported by the
record. Rosemond v. Al-Lahiq, 331 S.W.3d 764, 766
(Tex. 2011) (per curiam).
analyzing the legal sufficiency of the evidence, we view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict,
crediting evidence favoring the finding if reasonable
factfinders could and disregarding contrary evidence unless
reasonable factfinders could not. See Del Lago Partners,
Inc. v. Smith, 307 S.W.3d 762, 770 (Tex. 2010) (citing
City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 822, 827
(Tex. 2005)). We will uphold the finding if more than a
scintilla of competent evidence supports it. Haggar
Clothing Co. v. Hernandez, 164 S.W.3d 386, 388 (Tex.
2005) (per curiam); see also City of Keller, 168
S.W.3d at 810. The final test for legal sufficiency is
"whether the evidence at trial would enable reasonable
and fair-minded people to reach the verdict under
review." City of Keller, 168 S.W.3d at 827.
When conducting our legal sufficiency review, we are mindful
that the factfinder is the sole judge of the credibility of
the witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony.
See id. at 819.
argues that the evidence is legally insufficient to support a
judgment against her because appellees did not provide any
documentation from their bank indicating to whom payment was
made for the vehicle. She further contends appellees
testified each time they visited the Garland location, they
interacted with another individual, while she testified that
she was not involved in any of the transactions or even
present at the Garland location at any of the relevant times.
Finally, she asserts she was not connected to any of the
companies listed on the paperwork involved in the
transaction, namely - the Buyer's Order for the vehicle
identifying the Seller as "Pro Life Garland, " the
paid invoice naming "Prolife Auto, " and the refund
check from "Prolife-MJMD."
review of the trial record reveals that Castillo identified
Gobezie as the person to whom she gave the $5000 for the
vehicle and Gobezie counted the money in front of her. She
testified that she called the Garland shop and Gobezie told
her son over the phone that the title would arrive in six
days. Castillo further stated Gobezie was there when
appellees picked up the check they were unable to cash. There
was an assumed name certificate recorded on July 28, 2014
admitted into evidence showing "Prolife Auto
Garland" operating as a general partnership at the
location where appellees purchased the vehicle. The owners of
the partnership were identified on the certificate as ...