Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas
SANDRA L. SIMS, Appellant
TINA THOMAS, Appellee
Appeal from the 160th Judicial District Court Dallas County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. DC-16-16409
Justices Whitehill, Partida-Kipness, and Pedersen, III
a restricted appeal from an order authorizing a receiver to
sell real property although the trial court did not conduct a
hearing on the receiver's sale motion. We conclude that
it is apparent on the face of the record that the trial court
erred by rendering the order without a hearing. Accordingly,
we reverse the order and remand the case for further
Background and Procedural Posture
these facts from the clerk's record and the trial
sisters, all adults, inherited a house in south Dallas from
their mother in 2010. The sisters are appellee Tina Thomas,
appellant Sandra Sims, and Simone Johnson. Trial evidence
indicated that Sims lived in the house, at least
intermittently, after their mother died.
County sued all three sisters for delinquent property taxes.
filed this suit against Johnson and Sims, seeking an order to
sell the property and partition the proceeds among the
answered Thomas's suit and filed a counterclaim for
reimbursement of property taxes and money she had spent
maintaining and improving the property.
case was tried to the bench in July 2017. Thomas was
represented by counsel, while Sims and Johnson appeared pro
testified that when she last checked, about $5, 000 in
property taxes were still owed. Sims and Johnson were the
only other witnesses at trial. Sims opposed sale and
partition of the property. Johnson supported the sale and
August 24, 2017, the trial judge signed the final judgment.
The judgment granted each sister a one-third interest in the
property and granted Sims $2, 500 in reimbursement for
improvements to the property. It also gave Sims thirty days
to attempt to negotiate a buy-out with her sisters, failing
which the property would be sold by a receiver, Rosalita
Lucas. The judgment required Lucas to file an oath and post a
$500 bond, and it recited that "the Receivership shall
not commence until the Oath is filed and the bond
posted." The judgment further provided that, after any
sale of the property, the net proceeds would be
"returned to the court to be partitioned in proportion
to the parties' respective interests."
clerk's record reflects that Lucas posted the $500 bond,
but it does not show that she ever filed the required oath.
than thirty days after the judgment was signed, Lucas filed a
report reciting that Sims had failed to negotiate a buy-out
with her sisters.
clerk's record contains an unfilemarked copy of a letter
and proposed order from Lucas dated January 18, 2018. The
letter is unclear, but it seems to ask the court to require
the parties to sign all documents necessary to close a sale
of the property. The proposed order refers to a "Motion
for final approval to close this case," apparently
referring to the letter.
January 22, 2018, an associate judge signed an order
authorizing Lucas to accept a cash bid on the property from