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.

Dillard v. North Hills Manor

Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth

October 10, 2019

Barbara Dillard, Appellant
v.
North Hills Manor, Appellee

          On Appeal from County Court at Law No. 1 Tarrant County, Texas Trial Court No. 2018-002074-1

          Before Bassel, Womack, and Wallach, JJ.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Mike Wallach Justice

         The county court signed a judgment of eviction in favor of Appellee North Hills Manor. Appellant Barbara Dillard, pro se, now appeals. We affirm.

         Background

         On March 5, 2018, North Hills Manor filed in the justice court a sworn complaint for Dillard's eviction from property on Kearney Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas. It alleged that Dillard had failed to pay $4, 949 in rent and that she was unlawfully holding over after the expiration of her lease "or renewal of extension period" on March 2, 2018. Dillard did not appear for trial, and on March 21, 2018, the justice court signed a judgment granting North Hills Manor possession of the property and awarding North Hills Manor $4, 853.00 in delinquent rent.

         Dillard appealed to the county court. At that time, she was represented by counsel. On July 27, 2018, the county court signed a "Rule 11 Agreement for Final Order." The order stated that the parties had mutually modified their lease to terminate on August 3, 2018; that Dillard agreed to surrender the premises by that date; and that North Hills Manor agreed that if Dillard vacated by that date, it would nonsuit or dismiss its eviction suit. On August 2, 2018, Dillard's attorney filed a motion to withdraw as counsel on the ground that Dillard no longer wanted him to represent her. The next day, Dillard filed a "Notice of Appeal" in the county court stating that her attorney "signed an agreement [that she] did not consent to."

         On September 13, 2018, the county court signed a judgment awarding possession of the premises to North Hills Manor. The judgment reflected that Dillard had not appeared for trial. Dillard filed a motion for new trial, which the county court orally granted on September 21, 2018.

         The county court subsequently signed a judgment stating that the case had been called to trial on September 28, 2018; that Dillard had appeared; and that, after considering the testimony and evidence, the court had found that North Hills Manor was entitled to judgment. The judgment ordered that North Hills Manor recover possession of the premises, past due rent of $1, 100, postjudgment interest, and court costs. Dillard filed a motion for new trial, which the county court denied. This appeal followed.

         Discussion

         Dillard first argues that the eviction was wrongful because although North Hills Manor's manager stated that the reason for the eviction was that she had been receiving social security benefits since 2018, [1] this statement was not true. She further complains that the county court would not allow her to submit evidence. Finally, she complains that the judgment is not supported by factually sufficient evidence. Although Dillard does not specifically set out or identify issues in her brief, see Tex. R. App. P. 38.1(f), we construe these three arguments as her three issues.

         As for Dillard's first issue, the record does not show what statements, if any, North Hills Manor made about her benefits, whether it introduced evidence on that topic, or whether Dillard tried but was not permitted to introduce evidence contradicting North Hills Manor's evidence.[2] See Tex. R. Evid. 103; Tex.R.App.P. 33.1, 33.2, 44.1. Dillard has therefore failed to preserve her complaint about North Hills Manor's statements.

         Further, Dillard does not explain the relevance of the date that her benefits began or how North Hills Manor's statements about her benefits resulted in an improper judgment. See Tex. R. App. P. 44.1. Although we liberally construe pro se briefs, we hold litigants who represent themselves to the same standards as litigants who are represented by counsel. See Mansfield State Bank v. Cohn, 573 S.W.2d 181, 184-85 (Tex. 1978). Under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, an appellant's brief must "contain a clear and concise argument for the contentions made, with appropriate citations to authorities and to the record."[3] Tex.R.App.P. 38.1(i). A brief that has no appropriate record citations or substantive analysis does not present an adequate issue for our review. See generally Fredonia State Bank v. Gen. Am. Life Ins. Co., 881 S.W.2d 279, 284-85 (Tex. 1994) (recognizing long-standing rule that error may be waived due to inadequate briefing). Dillard's brief contains no analysis and no discussion of any legal authority. Accordingly, her issue is inadequately briefed and is therefore waived. We overrule her first issue.

         As for Dillard's second issue, it, too, is inadequately briefed because the brief contains no analysis of the issue or any citations to authority or to the record. See id. Additionally, Dillard does not specify what evidence the county court refused to consider or admit and does not explain why exclusion of this evidence requires reversal of the county court's judgment. The record does not show that Dillard offered evidence or that the county court made a ruling on the ...


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.