Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana
Submitted: April 4, 2019
Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 1 Bell County, Texas
Trial Court No. 85504
Morriss, C.J., Burgess and Stevens, JJ.
R. MORRISS, III CHIEF JUSTICE
for Bettie Hankins, who was and is acting pro se in this
matter, when TimePayment Corporation sued Hankins alleging an
amount owed on an equipment lease Hankins had personally
guaranteed, she filed only a general denial and failed to
file either a response to TimePayment's motion for
summary judgment or any summary-judgment evidence to
contradict TimePayment's proof. The trial court in Bell
County,  Texas, set the matter for summary-judgment
hearing, after which it granted TimePayment a summary
judgment against Hankins. Hankins' sole issue, which she
asserts for the first time on appeal, claims only that the
lease contract that had been made the subject of the suit was
fraudulently proven in the trial court. Because, however,
there is no summary-judgment evidence in this record that
contradicts TimePayment's summary-judgment evidence of
the elements of its cause of action against Hankins, and
Hankins has supplied no cognizable evidence of fraud in the
trial court, we affirm the trial court's judgment.
trial court granted judgment against Hankins based on
TimePayment's motion for summary judgment, on its
accompanying affidavits supporting that motion, and on the
absence of any summary-judgment response or countervailing
summary-judgment proof filed by, or on behalf of, Hankins.
review a summary judgment de novo. Ferguson v. Bldg.
Materials Corp. of Am., 295 S.W.3d 642, 644 (Tex. 2009)
(per curiam). To be entitled to summary judgment under Rule
166a(c) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, a movant must
establish that there is no genuine issue of material fact so
that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See Tex. R. Civ. P. 166a(c); Mann Frankfort
Stein & Lipp Advisors, Inc. v. Fielding, 289 S.W.3d
844, 848 (Tex. 2009). Any and all evidence must be taken as
favorable to the nonmovant, and any doubts resolved against
the movant. 20801, Inc. v. Parker, 249 S.W.3d 392,
399 (Tex. 2008). All evidence is to be considered in the
light most favorable to the nonmovant, crediting evidence
favorable to the nonmovant if reasonable fact-finders could,
and disregarding evidence contrary to the nonmovant unless
reasonable fact-finders could not. Mann Frankfort,
289 S.W.3d at 848; see Nixon v. Mr. Prop. Mgmt. Co.,
690 S.W.2d 546, 548-49 (Tex. 1985).
summary judgments "must stand or fall on their own
merits," McConnell v. Southside Indep. Sch.
Dist., 858 S.W.2d 337, 343 (Tex. 1993), there is no
requirement that a party respond to a traditional motion for
summary judgment. City of Houston v. Clear Creek Basin
Auth., 589 S.W.2d 671, 678 (Tex. 1979); Carpenter v.
Cimarron Hydrocarbons Corp., 98 S.W.3d 682, 687 (Tex.
2002). The appellant's grounds for reversing summary
judgment must, however, have been presented in the trial
court. McConnell, 858 S.W.2d 343. "The effect
of such a failure is that the non-movant is limited on appeal
to arguing the legal sufficiency of the grounds presented by
the movant." Id.
Hankins claims only that the lease contract that had been
made the subject of the suit was fraudulently proven in the
trial court. This ground for reversing summary judgment was
not presented in the trial court. See id. Further,
Hankins does not contend on appeal that the summary-judgment
grounds presented by TimePayment are insufficient as a matter
of law to support the judgment. Since Hankins was limited on
appeal to arguing that the summary-judgment evidence was
insufficient as a matter of law-and she failed to do so-her
sole point of error is unpreserved. Id.
affirm the trial court's judgment.
Originally appealed to the Third Court
of Appeals, this case was transferred to this Court by the
Texas Supreme Court pursuant to its docket equalization
efforts. See Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 73.001
(West 2013). We are unaware of any conflict between precedent
of the Third Court of Appeals and ...