Appeal from the County Civil Court at Law No. 3 Harris
County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 1106690
consists of Justices Christopher, Hassan and Poissant.
Dan Michael Pannell and Everlasting Arms appeal the trial
court's judgment for possession granted in favor of
Appellee Invum Three LLC. We affirm.
appeal arises out of the foreclosure and sale of real
property located at 6144 Imogene Street in Houston. The
property was sold at a substitute trustee's sale on May
2, 2017 to Invum. Under the terms of the deed of trust,
Pannell became a tenant at sufferance. Invum sent a Notice to
Vacate Pursuant to Foreclosure to "Pannell and/or all
occupants" on May 15, 2017. Invum's authorized
agent, Jose Portillo, filed a petition for eviction on May
22, 2017 in justice court on behalf of GS Remodeling LLC as
the plaintiff and against Dan M. Pannell and Everlasting Arms
as defendants. Portillo filed an amended petition for
eviction on June 13, 2017 in justice court, naming Invum
Three LLC as the plaintiff.
removed the case to federal district court on June 19, 2017.
The federal district court remanded the case on September 12,
2017 and concluded "removal of the case was improper and
this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction." In its
order, the federal district court acknowledged an amended
petition had been "filed in state court, amending the
name of Plaintiff to Invum Three, LLC." Pannell then
filed a Notice of Stay on October 12, 2017, stating he
"commence[d] a chapter 13 bankruptcy case." The
bankruptcy court signed an order on January 16, 2018,
dismissing Pannell's bankruptcy case with prejudice.
December 1, 2017, Invum had hired an attorney to represent it
in its forcible detainer suit in justice court. The justice
court signed an eviction judgment on February 2, 2018, which
states: (1) Plaintiff Invum Three LLC and Defendants Dan M.
Pannell and Everlasting Arms were present and announced ready
for trial; (2) Invum was represented by its attorney; and (3)
the "court, having heard evidence, determined judgment
is for the Plaintiff for possession."
appealed to the county civil court at law. Invum filed an
Amended Petition for Forcible Detainer in the county court.
The county court held a bench trial on March 19, 2018.
Pannell appeared pro se and Invum was again represented by
its attorney. After considering the evidence and arguments
presented, the county court awarded possession to Invum and
signed a judgment for possession. Appellants filed a timely
preliminary matter, we address Invum's argument that
Appellants' appeal should be dismissed as moot because
(1) "Appellants did not post a supersedeas bond;"
(2) "a Writ of Possession was issued on April 4, 2018
and executed;" and (3) Invum "is now in possession
of the subject property."
only issue in an action for forcible detainer is the right to
actual possession of the premises. See Marshall v. Hous.
Auth. of City of San Antonio, 198 S.W.3d 782, 785 (Tex.
2006). If a supersedeas bond in the amount set by the trial
court is not filed, the judgment in a forcible detainer
action may be enforced and a writ of possession may be
executed evicting the defendant from the premises in
question. See id. at 786. Failure to supersede the
judgment does not divest the defendant of his right to
appeal. Wilhelm v. Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Ass'n,
349 S.W.3d 766, 768 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2011, no
pet.). However, if a defendant in a forcible detainer action
is no longer in possession of the premises, then an appeal
from the judgment of possession is moot "unless the
defendant asserts 'a potentially meritorious claim of
right to current, actual possession of the
[premises].'" Id. (quoting
Marshall, 198 S.W.3d at 787).
to Invum's assertion, there is no support in the record
before us that a writ of possession was executed or that
Invum "is now in possession of the subject
property." Therefore, we reject ...