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Standiford v. Citimortgage, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

August 22, 2019

BLAINE M. STANDIFORD AND SHERYL E. STANDIFORD, Appellants
v.
CITIMORTGAGE, INC., Appellee

          On Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 2 Travis County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. C-1-CV-17-005410

          Panel consists of Chief Justice Frost and Justices Bourliot and Poissant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          MARGARET "MEG" POISSANT JUSTICE

         In this appeal from a suit for forcible detainer, appellants Blaine Martin Standiford and Sheryl Elizabeth Standiford challenge the county court at law's judgment awarding CitiMortgage, Inc. ("CMI") possession of residential real property ("the Property"). Appellants raised these issues on appeal: the county court at law erred in granting summary judgment in favor of CMI; CMI's suit for forcible detainer was barred by the applicable statute of limitations; and the county court at law erred in ordering a writ of possession after a supersedeas bond was paid. We affirm.[1]

         I. Background[2]

         Appellants purchased real property and improvements located at 21127 Northland Drive, Lago Vista, Texas 78645 (the "Property") on April 6, 1998. In connection with the loan to purchase the Property, appellants executed a deed of trust and promissory note payable to Amerigroup Mortgage Corporation and its successors and assigns.

         In July 2012, appellants were in default after failing to make required payments under the note. CMI bought the Property at a foreclosure sale on August 7, 2012, and conveyed the Property to the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs (the "VA") on that same date. On July 5, 2013, the VA executed a quitclaim deed transferring the Property back to CMI.

         On April 7, 2017, CMI delivered a notice-to-vacate letter to appellants. On April 25, 2017, CMI filed a forcible detainer action against appellants in Justice Court, Precinct No. 2, Travis County, Texas.

         On May 22, 2017, after a jury verdict in favor of CMI, the Justice Court entered judgment for CMI. In its judgment, the Justice Court made a finding that "Defendant is a tenant at sufferance pursuant to the foreclosure held August 7, 2012, and that Plaintiff is entitled to possession of the premises."

         Appellants appealed the Justice Court judgment to County Court at Law No. 2 of Travis County, Texas the "county court." CMI filed its motion for summary judgment and brief in support of the motion. Appellants responded and also provided post-submission briefing. The county court rendered final summary judgment in favor of CMI on November 17, 2017, awarding CMI immediate possession of the Property.

         On November 22, 2017, appellants filed an emergency motion to set a supersedeas bond. A hearing was held on November 27, 2017. On that same date, the county court reaffirmed its judgment and also determined that appellants were entitled to a supersedeas bond of $1, 100 per month. Appellants, however, did not pay the bond until November 28, 2017. CMI argued appellants could not suspend the writ of execution, citing Section 24.007(a) of the Texas Property Code and Rule 510.13 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which require the appellant to file a supersedeas bond set by the county court within ten days from the judgment. This appeal timely followed.

         After this appeal was filed, the county court granted CMI's request for writ of possession. Appellants filed an emergency request for stay of execution of the writ, which the Third Court of Appeals granted "until the court can determine its jurisdiction over the summary judgment order or until further orders of this court."

         II. Analysis

         A. Summary ...


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