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Olivarri v. Olivarri

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

May 30, 2018

Maria OLIVARRI, Appellant
v.
Ray Jesse OLIVARRI, Appellee

          From the County Court at Law No. 10, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2017CV03082 Honorable Tommy Stolhandske, Judge Presiding

          Sitting: Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice

         AFFIRMED

         Appellee Ray Jesse Olivarri sought to evict his brother Christopher Olivarri and his wife Appellant Maria Olivarri[1] from a house Ray inherited. The justice court granted judgment in Ray's favor. Chris and Maria appealed for a trial de novo in the county court; it granted a default judgment for Ray and authorized a writ of possession. Acting pro se, Maria appeals. Because Maria's brief has presented nothing for appellate review, we affirm the county court's order.

          Background[2]

In a forcible detainer suit brought in the justice court, Ray sued Chris and Maria for possession of the property at 522 Cosgrove Street, San Antonio, Texas. Ray argued his mother devised the property to him, and Chris and Maria, who were living in the house, had no right to possess the property. The justice court found Chris and Maria had forcibly detained the premises and awarded Ray possession of the property. Chris and Maria appealed to the county court for trial de novo. The trial was set but Chris and Maria failed to appear, and the county court granted a default judgment for Ray. The county court signed an order for issuance of a writ of possession, and Maria timely filed a notice of appeal.

         Analysis

         A. Appellant's Brief

         Maria's brief contains a one-page Statement of Facts which primarily lists her personal property that was destroyed during the eviction process; her brief also argues the justice court prevented Chris from presenting his Rent-to-Own agreement. The Statement contains argument and no citations to the record. Contra Tex. R. App. P. 38.1(g).

         The Summary of the Argument section argues the justice court "should have considered the evidence" and the judgment was not supported by factually sufficient evidence. The three-paragraph Argument section recites alleged facts, without citations to the record, and cites three authorities: the Fourth Amendment, see U.S. Const. amend. IV; section 17.47 of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, see Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. § 17.47 (West 2011) ("Restraining Orders"); and section 406.014 of the Texas Government Code, see Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 406.014 (West Supp. 2017) ("Notary Records").

          We must construe Maria's brief reasonably, yet liberally. See First United Pentecostal Church of Beaumont v. Parker, 514 S.W.3d 214, 222 (Tex. 2017) (requiring courts of appeals "to construe briefing 'reasonably, yet liberally, so that the right to appellate review is not lost by waiver.'" (quoting Perry v. Cohen, 272 S.W.3d 585, 587 (Tex. 2008))).

         B. No Arguments or Citations

         Maria was required to file a brief that "contain[s] a clear and concise argument for the contentions made, with appropriate citations to authorities and to the record." See Tex. R. App. P. 38.1(i); ERI Consulting Eng'rs, Inc. v. Swinnea, 318 S.W.3d 867, 880 (Tex. 2010). Construing her brief reasonably yet liberally, we nevertheless necessarily ...


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