Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 5 Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. CC-17-06758-E
Justices Brown, Schenck, and Pedersen, III
PEDERSEN, III JUSTICE
a forcible detainer action. Appellant Audra
Draper contends that the trial court erred in
granting judgment evicting her when she raised a question of
wrongful foreclosure. Appellee AJ & Sal Enterprises, LLC
(AJ & Sal) argues that Draper's appeal is frivolous,
and it seeks sanctions pursuant to rule 45 of the Texas Rules
of Appellate Procedure. We affirm the trial court's
judgment, but we decline to award sanctions in this case.
litigation involves the residential property at 6002 Bluewood
Drive in Garland, Texas (the Property). At trial in the
county court at law, AJ & Sal offered evidence that it
purchased the Property at a foreclosure sale. AJ & Sal
offered the following documents into evidence without
objection from Draper: the Substitute Trustee's Deed, the
Deed of Trust, and a November 9, 2017 notice to Draper to
vacate the Property.
offered no documentary evidence or witness testimony other
than her own. She testified that she had been wrongly
foreclosed upon because the mortgage company had "messed
with" her loan principal, reporting that she was behind
$10, 000 in her payments when she was not.
trial court granted judgment for AJ & Sal. Draper
forcible detainer action asks the trial court to determine
the right to immediate possession of real property when there
was no unlawful entry on the property. Rice v.
Pinney, 51 S.W.3d 705, 709 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2001, no
pet.). "It is intended to be a speedy, simple, and
inexpensive means to obtain possession without resort to an
action on the title." Shutter v. Wells Fargo Bank,
N.A., 318 S.W.3d 467, 470-71 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2010,
pet. dism'd w.o.j.). Indeed, the only issue in a forcible
detainer action is which party has the right to immediate
possession of the property. Williams v. Bank of New York
Mellon, 315 S.W.3d 925, 926-27 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2010,
no pet.). To establish that it has the right to immediate
possession, a forcible detainer plaintiff must prove that (1)
it has a landlord-tenant relationship with the occupant of
the premises; (2) it purchased the property at foreclosure;
(3) it gave proper notice to the occupant of the property to
vacate; and (4) the occupant refused to vacate the premises.
Trimble v. Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Ass'n, 516
S.W.3d 24, 29 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2016, pet.
raises three issues in this Court; each points to one or more
purported errors in the foreclosure process. However, any
challenge to the sale of property under a deed of trust must
be brought in a separate suit in which title issues can be
determined, not in an action for forcible detainer.
Williams, 315 S.W.3d at 927. Draper's issues could
not be resolved in the forcible detainer trial, and we cannot
resolve them in this appeal.
AJ & Sal established its right to possession of the
Property at trial. The Substitute Trustee's Deed
established that AJ & Sal purchased the Property at
foreclosure. The Deed of Trust established the required
landlord-tenant relationship. That document states:
If the Property is sold pursuant to this Section 22 [which
addresses rights of acceleration and non-judicial
foreclosure], Borrower or any person holding possession of
the Property through Borrower shall immediately surrender
possession of the Property to the purchaser at that sale. If
possession is not surrendered, Borrower or such person
shall be a tenant at sufferance and may be removed by
writ or possession or other court proceeding. (Emphasis
evidence also includes AJ & Sal's notice to Draper to
vacate the Property within three days, and Draper
acknowledged at trial that she received the notice. This
action was initiated because she did not vacate the Property.
Thus, AJ & Sal satisfied ...