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Clark v. Blanco

Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg

April 26, 2018

SHAKERIA CLARK, Appellant,
v.
MAURICIO P. BLANCO AND VERONICA R. ARRELLANO, Appellees.

          On appeal from the 135th District Court of Calhoun County, Texas.

          Before Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Benavides and Hinojosa

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ROGELIO VALDEZ Chief Justice

         Appellant Shakeria Clark appeals the trial court's judgment in favor of appellees Mauricio P. Blanco and Veronica R. Arrellano. By two issues, appellant contends that there is more than a scintilla of evidence that appellees were not bona fide purchasers and that appellees should have intervened in a prior suit. We affirm.

         I. Background

         Appellant entered into an earnest money contract to purchase a parcel of land in Calhoun County, Texas. Subsequently, and without appellant's knowledge, the seller of the land sold the property to appellees. Appellant sued the seller in a separate suit. Appellee prevailed in her claims against the seller, but appellant did not include appellees in that suit. After notifying appellees of her judgment against the seller, appellant sued appellees for tortious interference with an existing contract, assisting or encouraging common law fraud, and for a declaratory judgment seeking to clear title to the property and a declaration that appellees were not bona fide purchasers in good faith.

         On January 19, 2016, the trial court signed a notice of setting of a trial on the merits for May 4, 2016. On that date, in a bench trial, the trial court heard testimony from several witnesses including, among others, appellant and appellees. After hearing the evidence, the trial court rendered a judgment against appellant. This appeal followed.

         II. The Judgment

         Appellant contends that she is appealing from the trial court's ruling on appellees' motion for summary judgment, and she cites the standard of review regarding summary judgments and focuses her entire first issue on whether she raised a genuine issue of material fact in her response to appellees' motion for summary judgment. However, based on our review of the record, the judgment from which appellant appeals is not a ruling on a summary judgment.[1] Accordingly, we need not address appellant's argument that she produced more than a scintilla of evidence raising a question of fact regarding whether appellees were bona fide purchasers.[2] We overrule appellant's first issue.[3]

         III. Intervention

         By her second issue, appellant contends that "appellees waived their claim" by failing to intervene in appellant's lawsuit against the seller. Appellant does not specify which claim appellees allegedly waived. Presumably, appellant takes issue with appellees' assertion that they were bona fide purchasers.[4]

         Appellant cites, and we find, no case law stating that appellees were required to intervene in her lawsuit against the seller to preserve their bona fide purchasers defense. Moreover, in this cause, appellant requested for the trial court to determine whether appellees were bona fide purchasers, and the trial court did so. Specifically, appellant sought "a declaration that [appellees] were not bona fide purchasers in good faith." We cannot conclude that the trial court erred by doing what appellant requested. Accordingly, we overrule appellant's second issue.

         IV. ...


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