Appeal from County Civil Court at Law No. 3 Harris County,
Texas Trial Court Cause No. 1128290
PROCEEDING WRIT OF MANDAMUS
consists of Justices Wise, Jewell and Hassan.
Jackson appeals from a final judgment in favor of Wells
Fargo, N.A., as Trustee for the MASTR Asset Backed Securities
Trust 2007-NCW Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Series
2007-NCW ("Wells Fargo") in a forcible detainer
case. Jackson also filed a petition for writ of mandamus
asking this court to compel the Honorable LaShawn A. Williams
to vacate the judgment and the writ of possession as void.
Wells Fargo filed a motion to dismiss the appeal as moot
because Jackson is no longer in possession of the property.
The motion was taken with the appeal, and the appeal and the
original proceeding were consolidated. We grant the motion to
dismiss, vacate the judgment, dismiss the appeal, and dismiss
February 22, 2007, John and Dorothy Merritt executed a deed
of trust to secure a home equity extension of credit. The
Merritts defaulted under the terms of the loan and security
instrument, foreclosure proceedings were initiated, and Wells
Fargo purchased the property at a non-judicial foreclosure
sale. On January 2, 2019, Wells Fargo sent written notice to
vacate the premises and demand for possession to the Personal
Representative of John Merritt and Dorothy Merritt and/or All
Occupants of the subject property.
January 22, 2019, after the property was not vacated, Wells
Fargo filed an original petition for forcible detainer in
justice court. Jackson was an occupant of the property. Wells
Fargo alleged that it is the owner of the property through a
trustee's deed and the defendants and all occupants, who
resided on the property prior Wells Fargo's acquisition
of the property, continued to reside on the property.
February 6, 2019, the justice court signed a default judgment
for Wells Fargo because the defendants did not answer or
appear in the case. That same day, Jackson filed a
"Statement to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction,"
asserting that the justice court lacked jurisdiction over the
forcible-detainer action because a case seeking to void the
deed of trust was pending in federal district court. The next
day, Jackson filed a notice of appeal to the county civil
court at law, in which he stated that he was in the
clerk's office when the case was called.
trial court held a de novo non-jury trial on March 28, 2019,
and signed a final judgment in favor of Wells Fargo and
ordered that a writ of possession issue if the property was
not vacated by April 8, 2019. Jackson filed a motion to set
aside the final judgment on the ground that it is void due to
lack of jurisdiction, alleged fraud on the court, and alleged
criminal acts of counsel for Wells Fargo. The trial court
held a hearing and denied the motion on the record.
filed an appeal from the final judgment. Wells Fargo, in
turn, filed a motion to dismiss the appeal as moot,
contending that this court has no jurisdiction over the
appeal because Jackson did not adequately supersede the
judgment and Wells Fargo had executed a writ to enforce the
judgment and obtained possession of the property. Jackson
subsequently filed a petition for writ of mandamus, asking
this court to compel the trial court to set aside its writ of
possession as void. We consolidated the appeal and the
initial matter, we address Wells Fargo's argument in its
motion to dismiss that the appeal is moot because Jackson did
not file a supersedeas bond, the writ of possession was
executed, and Wells Fargo has possession of the property.
becomes moot if a controversy ceases to exist between the
parties at any stage of the proceedings, including the
appeal. In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., 166
S.W.3d 732, 737 (Tex. 2005) (orig. proceeding). A case is
moot when the court's action on the merits cannot affect
the parties rights or interests. Heckman v. Williamson
Cty., 369 S.W.3d 137, 162 (Tex. 2012). When a case
becomes moot, the court loses jurisdiction and cannot hear
the case, because any decision would constitute an advisory
opinion. State ex rel. Best v. Harper, 562 S.W.3d 1,
6 (Tex. 2018). If a case is ...