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Wiggins v. Glover

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

May 29, 2019

Fred WIGGINS, as Trustee of the Wiggins Revocable Trust, Appellant
v.
Jeffrey A. GLOVER and Donna S. Glover, Appellees

          From the 218th Judicial District Court, Karnes County, Texas Trial Court No. 16-01-00022-CVK Honorable Donna S. Rayes, Judge

          Sitting: Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice, Beth Watkins, Justice, Liza A. Rodriguez, Justice.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Luz Elena D. Chapa, Justice.

         AFFIRMED

         Fred Wiggins, as trustee of the Wiggins Revocable Trust, appeals a summary judgment rendered in favor of Jeffrey and Donna Glover. He argues the trial court erred by granting the Glovers' traditional motion for summary judgment and denying his cross-traditional motion for summary judgment. Concluding Wiggins's suit is barred by the statute of limitations, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         Background

         This appeal arises from a dispute over who owns superior title to a ½ non-participating royalty interest (NPRI) in real property in Karnes County. Originally, Wiggins owned the ½ NPRI individually, [1] but he alleges he placed the ½ NPRI into the Wiggins Revocable Trust, of which he is the trustee.

         In 2006, to satisfy a judgment against Wiggins, the Karnes County Sheriff seized the subject property, including the ½ NPRI, and executed a sheriff's deed purporting to convey the property to Gary Teel. The Glovers opposed the sheriff's sale because they believed they owned the property. The Glovers sued Teel, and an agreed judgment was rendered, declaring the Glovers owned the entire subject property, including the ½ NPRI. Teel also executed a quitclaim deed, disclaiming any interest he had in the subject property in favor of the Glovers.

         In October 2011, Wiggins, as trustee, sued the Glovers in a trespass to try title action. In that lawsuit, Wiggins challenged the Glovers' claim to title to the ½ NPRI. The Glovers filed a motion for summary judgment in that lawsuit and, instead of filing a response, Wiggins filed a notice of nonsuit in December 2011.

         Over four years later, on January 18, 2016, Wiggins, as trustee, filed the underlying lawsuit against the Glovers. In his pleadings in the trial court, and on appeal, Wiggins characterizes the underlying lawsuit as a suit to quiet title. As per his trial court pleadings, Wiggins sought to remove the clouds on his alleged title caused by the 2006 sheriff's deed and the agreed judgment in the Teel-Glover lawsuit. The parties filed traditional cross-motions for summary judgment, arguing about the merits of Wiggins's suit. In a separate ground, the Glovers argued the underlying lawsuit is barred by limitations. The trial court granted the Glovers' motion, denied Wiggins's cross- motion, and rendered a final judgment against Wiggins without specifying the basis for its judgment. Wiggins timely appealed.

         Standard of Review

         We review summary judgments de novo. Rife, 513 S.W.3d at 609. "To prevail on a traditional motion for summary judgment, the movant must show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the [movant] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). "We take as true all evidence favorable to the nonmovant, resolve all conflicts in the evidence in the non-movants' favor, and indulge every reasonable inference and resolve any doubts in the nonmovant's favor." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). "When parties file competing motions for summary judgment, and the trial court grants one and denies the other, we review all issues presented and render the judgment the trial court should have rendered." Id.

         Discussion

         Wiggins's sole issue is, "The trial court erred in granting the Glovers' motion for summary judgment and denying the Trust's; alternatively, it erred in granting the Glovers' motion." "Where, as here, the trial court's judgment does not specify the grounds, we must affirm the summary judgment if any of the theories presented to the trial court and preserved for appellate review are meritorious." C ...


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