Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Carter v. ZB, National Association

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

May 7, 2019

STANWYN JAY CARTER, Appellant
v.
ZB, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION D/B/A AMEGY BANK, Appellee

          On Appeal from the 55th District Court Harris County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 2017-56775

          Panel consists of Chief Justice Frost and Justices Wise and Jewell

          OPINION

          Kem Thompson Frost Chief Justice

         Appellant Stanwyn Jay Carter, pro se, appeals the trial court's order granting appellee ZB, National Association d/b/a Amegy Bank ("Amegy Bank") summary judgment on its claim for declaratory relief that Carter cannot force Amegy Bank to arbitrate the dispute in an arbitration that Carter had commenced. We modify the trial court's judgment to delete two declarations and affirm the judgment as modified.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Contours Community Development Corporation executed a promissory note dated September 1, 2010, in the principal amount of $544, 000 (the "Note") payable to Amegy Bank. Carter signed the Note as Executive Director of Contours. Contours and Amegy Bank executed a "First Modification and Extension to Note and Deed of Trust," dated December 31, 2010 ("First Modification"). Carter signed the First Modification as Executive Director of Contours.

         Paragraph 43 of the Note and paragraph 13 of the First Modification address dispute resolution and are substantially similar in all material respects. Each paragraph has a section entitled "JURY TRIAL WAIVER," and a section entitled "ARBITRATION." In the first section, Contours and Amegy Bank waive their right to a jury trial in connection with a claim, dispute, or controversy that arises between them with respect to the Note, related agreements, or any other agreement or business relationship between them, whether or not related to the subject matter of the Note (hereinafter a "Dispute"). In the first paragraph, Contours and Amegy Bank agree that any Dispute will be resolved "BY A JUDGE SITTING WITHOUT A JURY." Contours and Amegy Bank agree that if a court determines that the jury-trial-waiver provision is not enforceable, then before trial of a Dispute but not later than thirty days after entry of the order determining the provision to be unenforceable, either party may move the court for an order compelling arbitration and staying or dismissing such litigation pending arbitration (an "Arbitration Order.").

         In the second paragraph regarding arbitration, Contours and Amegy Bank agree that if a Dispute arises and only if a jury-trial waiver is not permitted by applicable law or by a court ruling, then either party may require that the Dispute be resolved by binding arbitration before a single arbitrator at the request of any party.

         Carter, pro se, filed a demand for arbitration with JAMS, seeking to arbitrate claims against Amegy Bank under the arbitration provision in Paragraph 43 of the Note. When JAMS refused to dismiss the arbitration, Amegy Bank filed suit in the trial court below seeking declaratory relief, including a declaration that Carter cannot force Amegy Bank to arbitrate, and seeking to stay the arbitration proceedings. Instead of filing an answer, Carter filed a motion to compel arbitration.

         Following a temporary restraining order and a temporary injunction enjoining Carter from continuing to prosecute the arbitration, Amegy Bank filed a motion for traditional summary judgment. In the motion, Amegy Bank sought various declarations as a matter of law, including a declaration that Carter cannot force Amegy Bank to arbitrate the dispute in the commenced JAMS arbitration styled Carter, Stanwyn Jay v. Amegy Bank National Association (hereinafter the "Carter Dispute"). Amegy Bank maintains that Carter improperly commenced arbitration predicated on an arbitration provision that does not authorize arbitration at this juncture. Amegy Bank attached to its motion authenticated copies of the Note and the First Modification. Carter filed a summary-judgment response, asserting various points and arguing that he raised genuine issues of material fact.

         The trial court granted Amegy Bank's summary-judgment motion, making seven declarations as a matter of law. The trial court later rendered a final judgment ordering that the Carter Dispute remain stayed. In the final judgment the trial court reiterated the same seven declarations:

1. Pursuant to Paragraph 43 of the Promissory Note and Paragraph 13 of the First Modification and Extension to Note and Deed of Trust ("First Modification"), only a court may determine the validity, enforceability, meaning, and scope of the Promissory Note and First Modification's arbitration provisions.
2. Pursuant to Paragraph 43 of the Promissory Note and Paragraph 13 of the First Modification, arbitration cannot be commenced unless a court determines that the jury trial waiver is not enforceable.
3. Pursuant to Paragraph 43 of the Promissory Note and Paragraph 13 of the First Modification, arbitration cannot be commenced until there is an Arbitration Order as defined in the Promissory Note and First Modification.
4. Pursuant to Paragraph 43 of the Promissory Note and Paragraph 13 of the First Modification, an Arbitration Order cannot issue unless a court determines that the jury trial waiver is not enforceable.
5. An Arbitration Order has not issued.
6. There has been no determination that the jury trial waiver is unenforceable.
7. Defendant Stanwyn Jay Carter cannot force ZB, National Association d/b/a Amegy Bank to arbitrate the dispute in the commenced JAMS arbitration styled Carter, Stanwyn Jay vs. Amegy Bank National Association.

         On appeal Carter argues that the trial court reversibly erred in granting summary judgment.

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.