Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
appeal from the 206th District Court of Hidalgo County,
Justices Benavides, Longoria, and Hinojosa
LETICIA HINOJOSA JUSTICE
Propel Financial Services, LLC (Propel) appeals a no-answer
default judgment in favor of appellee Conquer Land Utilities,
LLC (Conquer), awarding $13, 000, 000 in damages, and
post-judgment orders granting turnover relief and appointing
a receiver. By three issues, Propel argues that: (1)
the default judgment should be set aside by restricted appeal
because error appears on the face of the record; and the
trial court abused its discretion in (2) ordering turnover
relief and (3) appointing a receiver. We reverse and remand.
loaned Conquer $47, 383.68. The loan was secured by a
twelve-acre tract of land located in Hidalgo City, Texas.
After Conquer defaulted on the loan, Propel sold the property
at a foreclosure sale. Conquer sued Propel, alleging that
Propel wrongfully foreclosed on the property and sold the
property for only 5% of its appraised value.
Service of Citation
filed its original petition on November 1, 2017. The petition
identified Kohm & Associates, P.C., as Propel's
registered agent for service of process. Conquer requested
that the Hidalgo County District Clerk issue a citation to
Propel and serve the citation and petition by certified mail,
return receipt requested. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 103,
106. The citation was directed to "Propel Financial
Services, LLC c/o Kohm & Associates,
PC." On November 9, the clerk filed the
following digital return receipt from the United States
Postal Service (USPS):
digital return receipt contained the following reference
failed to file an answer to the suit, and Conquer moved for
default judgment. The motion was heard on December 4, 2017.
At the hearing, Conquer's counsel informed the trial
court that "the return of service has been filed with
the Court since November 9th." Conquer then presented
the testimony of Francisco Xavier Badir Vasquez Rezzah
(Rezzah), Conquer's managing member. Rezzah testified
that the value of the foreclosed property was $4, 000, 000.
He based his valuation on a "2008 or 2009"
appraisal of $3, 000, 080. Rezzah stated that he planned to
develop two hotels and a commercial shopping center on the
property. He estimated that "the loss of not being able
to develop [on] this land is about $15, 000, 000 and $20,
000, 000." Rezzah requested the trial court award $13,
000, 000 in damages, which he represented to be "the
value of the property plus some of the lost income or some of
the lost profits" for the planned development.
trial court rendered a default judgment in favor of Conquer
and awarded $13, 000, 000 in damages.
Amended Proof of Service
January 29, 2018, Conquer filed a motion to amend the proof
of service pursuant to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 118.
See Tex. R. Civ. P. 118 (providing for the amendment
of process or proof of service). The trial court granted the
motion, and the ...