Appeal from the 80th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2017-52683
consists of Justices Lloyd, Landau, and Countiss.
BETH LANDAU, JUSTICE
trial court granted sisters Eleni Antonellos Fuller and Maria
Antonellos Bassa summary judgment to remove a mechanic's
and materialman's lien placed on their real property by
Luxurkey Management LLC after Luxurkey paid, without
knowledge or consent of Fuller or Bassa, delinquent property
taxes. The trial court declared, as a matter of law, that
Luxurkey's lien was invalid and that Fuller should
recover damages under the Fraudulent Lien Act. See
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 12.002. On appeal,
Luxurkey does not challenge either of these rulings; instead,
it contends the summary judgment must be set aside because
the trial court erred in its disposition of Luxurkey's
counterclaim for quantum meruit and affirmative defense of
offset and reimbursement. We affirm.
Antonellos Fuller and her sister, Maria Antonellos Bassa, own
real property in Houston, Texas. The property has been in the
family for more than 50 years and is Bassa's homestead.
The family fell behind on the property taxes for tax years
2014 to 2016 and owed $78, 077.70 in delinquent taxes.
the knowledge or consent of either Fuller or Bassa, Luxurkey
Management LLC made a payment through the county tax
assessor's website to cure the delinquency. Seven days
later, Luxurkey demanded in writing that Fuller reimburse the
company for $104, 074.62, which Luxurkey alleged included
amounts for property taxes, a 25% redemption fee, and
attorney's fees. Fuller did not respond, and Luxurkey
mailed another demand letter. The second demand letter stated
that it was "formal notice of [Luxurkey's] intent to
file a mechanic's and materialman's lien against the
real property and improvements." Luxurkey subsequently
filed an "Affidavit of Luxurkey Management LLC Claiming
a Mechanic's and Materialman's Lien" in the
county real property records. Luxurkey filed the lien on the
property to "secure payment" for $104, 074.62.
then filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that
Luxurkey's lien was null and void because it violated a
certain provision of the Property Code as well as the
Fraudulent Lien Act. Luxurkey answered and asserted
counterclaims against both Fuller and Bassa to foreclose the
lien or, alternatively, to recover under the doctrine of
an adequate time for discovery had passed, Fuller moved for a
traditional summary judgment on the argument that the
evidence conclusively established the elements of her claims
and conclusively negated at least one element of
Luxurkey's counterclaims and (2) a no-evidence summary
judgment on Luxurkey's counterclaims. The trial court
granted these motions, declared that the lien was invalid,
awarded Fuller $10, 000 under the Fraudulent Lien Act (as
well as costs and attorney's fees), and dismissed
Luxurkey's counterclaims. The summary-judgment order
states that it "is final, disposes of all claims and all
parties, and is appealable."
argues the summary judgment must be set aside because the
trial court "ignored" Luxurkey's quantum meruit
counterclaim and failed to offset the damages awarded to
Fuller by the amount of the lien. We address each of these
arguments in turn.
Summary judgments are reviewed de novo
argues the summary judgment must be set aside as an abuse of
the trial court's discretion. We, however, review a trial
court's summary-judgment order de novo. See City of
Richardson v. Oncor Elec. Delivery Co., 539 S.W.3d 252,
258 (Tex. 2018); Travelers Ins. Co. v. Joachim, 315
S.W.3d 860, 862 (Tex. 2010).
prevail on a traditional motion for summary judgment, the
movant has the burden to show that no genuine issue of
material fact exists and that the trial court should grant
judgment as a matter of law. Tex.R.Civ.P. 166a(c); Oncor
Elec., 539 S.W.3d at 258-59; KPMG Peat Markwick v.
Harrison Cty. Hous. Fin. Corp., 988 S.W.2d 746, 748
(Tex. 1999). In deciding whether there is a disputed material
fact issue precluding summary judgment, we take the evidence
favorable to the nonmovant as true. Nixon v. Mr. Property
Mgmt. Co., Inc., 6 ...