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Haynes v. Hawkes

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

June 27, 2018

WILLIE JAMES HAYNES, II AND BRITA MICHELLE HAYNES A/K/A BRITA MICHELE HAYNES, Appellants
v.
PHILIP HAWKES, Appellee

          On Appeal from the 192nd Judicial District Court Dallas County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. DC-16-05083

          Before Justices Lang-Miers, Fillmore, and Stoddart

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CRAIG STODDART JUSTICE

         This is an appeal from a no-evidence summary judgment denying an equitable bill of review seeking to set aside a prior default judgment against appellants. Appellants contend the default judgment was void due to pleading defects and, therefore, they were not required to prove the three elements for a bill of review. The trial court granted appellee's no-evidence summary judgment, which challenged each of the elements for a bill of review. We conclude the default judgment is not void and appellants were required but failed to present summary judgment evidence raising a genuine issue of fact on each element for a bill of review. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         Background

         The underlying proceeding arises out of a property management agreement between Philip Hawkes and Sky Group, LLC. In 2014, Hawkes sued Sky Group, Willie James Haynes, II, and Brita Michelle Haynes, a/k/a Brita Michele Haynes, for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud. Hawkes alleged he entered into a property management agreement with Sky Group to manage his real estate properties. He also alleged:

• Sky Group, Willie, and Brita performed services under the agreement, acting as real estate agents for Hawkes. Hawkes alleged each of the defendants owed him a fiduciary duty as his agent.
• Defendants failed to provide a full accounting of money due to him and to turn over documents relating to the properties after he terminated the management agreement.
• Willie and Brita, as agents and as fiduciaries to Hawkes, were personally liable for the obligations owed to Hawkes.
• Willie was personally liable as the result of signing the management agreement in his personal capacity.
• Defendants breached their contractual and fiduciary duties to Hawkes by failing to timely distribute collected rents to him.
• Brita made knowingly false representations to Hawkes about a tenant's failure to pay rent and the initiation of eviction proceedings against the tenant. These representations were intended to "defraud" Hawkes into believing he was not entitled to receive rents that were due to him.

         Hawkes alleged the defendants breached the terms of the contract, breached their fiduciary duties, and were negligent, by failing to timely deliver a full accounting of all funds, any funds held by defendants relating to the properties, and all records in their possession relating to the properties. These breaches caused damages in the amount of $9, 680. In addition, Hawkes alleged the defendants knowingly made false statements to him with the intent to induce him to continue using them to manage his properties, that Hawkes relied on the false statements to his detriment, and the fraud caused damages in the amount of $9, 680. Hawkes requested attorney's fees under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 38.001 for breach of contract.

         The trial court rendered a default judgment against appellants on December 8, 2014. They did not file a motion for new trial, direct appeal, or restricted appeal following the judgment. Instead, over a year after the default judgment, appellants filed a petition ...


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