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.

Wilson v. Empire Towing LLC

Court of Appeals of Texas, First District

August 1, 2019

DWAYNE RAYSHAUN WILSON, Appellant
v.
EMPIRE TOWING LLC AND ATC AUTO STORAGE LLC, Appellees

          On Appeal from the County Civil Court at Law No. 2 Harris County, Texas Trial Court Case No. 1117336.

          Panel consists of Justices Lloyd, Landau, and Countiss.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Julie Countiss Justice.

         Appellant, Dwayne Rayshaun Wilson, challenges the trial court's judgment in his case against appellees, Empire Towing LLC ("Empire Towing") and ATC Auto Storage LLC ("ATC"), for improper towing.[1] He presents the following three issues for our review: (1) "Can a property conveyed to a private foreign trust[] be possessed by a U.S. person who[] has no lawful or legal claim or right to such property?"; (2) "Can a U.S. person under verbal contract with another U.S. person use private trust property . . . as collateral to settle a contract not entered to by the trust or the trustee [where] no evidence exist[s] evidencing the trust or the trustee to be accommodating parties?"; and (3) "Did the trial court err in its [judgment] concerning the right of possession concerning a 2010 Toyota Camry LE towed without consent or knowledge of the owner?"

         We affirm.

         Background

         On August 10, 2018, Wilson's 2010 Toyota Camry was towed, without his consent, following Wilson's arrest. The Houston Police Department ("HPD") officer presiding over his arrest authorized Empire Towing to tow Wilson's car to ATC for storage.

         Wilson requested a hearing in justice court, pursuant to section 2308.452 of the Texas Occupations Code, [2] to determine whether probable cause existed for the removal of his car. After a hearing, the justice court found that probable cause existed for the towing of Wilson's car.

         Wilson timely appealed the justice court's probable cause ruling to county court, where his case was tried without a jury. Wilson testified that his car was towed without his consent. He did not dispute that he owned the car and invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination when the trial court asked him to admit or deny whether he had been arrested at the time that his car was towed.

         The trial court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law, determining that Wilson's car was towed without his consent at the direction and authorization of the HPD. The trial court further determined:

[HPD] did have probable cause to remove the vehicle without the consent of the owner under Municipal Code of Ordinances 45-202(a)(6) and Texas State Transportation Code 545.305(a)(8). Both of these statutes give a peace officer express authority to tow [his car] pursuant to its driver being arrested for an alleged offense that requires the officer to take the driver into custody. There is no dispute from petitioner regarding the fact that he was indeed arrested and taken into custody on August 10, 2018, and at the time he was driving the 2010 Camry that the officer subsequently had towed.

         The trial court further found that "vehicle tow and storage fees remain[ed] unpaid and uncollected" at the time of trial.

         Having determined that the removal and storage of Wilson's car was made with probable cause, the trial court ordered that Wilson to pay "for all costs of the removal and storage" of his car.

         Probable ...


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.