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.

Grisaffi v. Rocky Mountain High Brands, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

August 12, 2019

JERRY GRISAFFI, Appellant
v.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH BRANDS, INC. F/K/A REPUBLIC OF TEXAS BRANDS, INC., Appellee

          On Appeal from the 192nd Judicial District Court Dallas County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. DC-17-15441

          Before Chief Justice Burns, Justice Molberg, and Justice Nowell

          MEMORANDUM OPINION ON MOTION TO STRIKE OR DECREASE AMOUNT OF SECURITY

          ERIN A. NOWELL, JUSTICE

         Before the Court is Jerry Grisaffi's motion to strike or decrease the amount of security set by the trial court to supersede a judgment awarding, in part, $3.5 million in damages to Rocky Mountain High Brands, Inc. f/k/a Republic of Texas Brands, Inc. For the reasons that follow, we deny the motion and affirm the trial court's order.

         BACKGROUND

         The underlying suit in this appeal stems from Grisaffi's allegedly fraudulent transfer of Rocky Mountain stock to himself and subsequent sale of the stock to a third party for $3.5 million. As a result of discovery sanctions, a default judgment was entered against Grisaffi. The judgment declared, in part, that the transfer of stock to Grisaffi was "void ab initio" and awarded Rocky Mountain $3.5 million in damages.

         Seeking to suspend enforcement of the judgment pending appeal, Grisaffi filed in the trial court a motion to determine the amount of security. He asserted he had a negative net worth as a result of the judgment against him and asked that he be able to supersede the judgment by making a cash deposit of $1, 000.[1] In support, he attached an affidavit that contained only the following three paragraphs concerning his net worth:

2. My assets are worth a total of approximately $250, 000. I also receive approximately $1, 700 per month in Social Security benefits.
3. My liabilities are $3, 500, 000. This is because a default judgment was entered against me in that amount.
4. Net worth is determined by calculating the difference between total assets and total liabilities. My net worth is as follows: $250, 000 - $3, 500, 000 = -3, 250, 000. Therefore, my net worth is negative and is far below zero. In other words, my current liabilities exceed my current assets, giving me a net worth of negative $3, 250, 000.

         Rocky Mountain filed both a motion to strike Grisaffi's motion and a response. Both argued Grisaffi's affidavit should be stricken and his motion denied because Grisaffi had failed to respond to post-judgment discovery requests or produce documents regarding his "true" net worth; the motion was "bare-bones" and "supported by a wholly conclusory affidavit[;]" and Grisaffi was not credible.

         The trial court held a non-evidentiary hearing at which Grisaffi, through counsel, presented as his "main argument" in support of his request that the bond be set at a "de minimis amount" that the judgment "essentially allowed for a double recovery because it invalidated the stock and [awarded] the $3.5 million judgment[.]" Rocky Mountain responded that the court did not have jurisdiction to reconsider the judgment, asked the court to take judicial notice of the case file, which demonstrated Grisaffi's lack of credibility and failure to respond to discovery, and argued Grisaffi had not made a prima facie showing of his net worth. Finding Grisaffi "not credible . . . in any shape or form" and that his supporting affidavit lacked "specifics," the court struck Grisaffi's motion and supporting affidavit and set the bond at $3.5 million, plus interest for the estimated duration of the appeal and court costs.

         APPLICABLE LAW

         Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 24.1 allows a judgment debtor to supersede the judgment by posting "a good and sufficient bond." See Tex. R. App. P. 24.1(a)(2). Under appellate rule 24.2(a)(1) and Texas Civil and Practice Remedies Code section 52.006(a), when the judgment is for money, the amount of the bond must equal the sum of compensatory damages awarded in the judgment, interest for the estimated duration of the appeal, and costs. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. ยง 52.006(a); Tex.R.App.P. 24.2(a)(1). The amount, however, must not exceed the lesser of fifty percent of the judgment debtor's current net worth or $25, 000, 000 and, upon a showing that posting the required security is likely to cause the judgment ...


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.