Appeal from the 157th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2013-27216
Consists of Justices Christopher, Spain, and Poissant.
filed a motion to dismiss this appeal for lack of
jurisdiction, contending the notice of appeal was untimely.
Appellant responded to the motion, including a request for
attorneys' fees in his response, and filed an amended
notice of appeal. Appellees filed a motion and a supplemental
motion strike the amended notice of appeal. We grant the
motion to dismiss, deny the motions to strike, deny
appellant's request for attorneys' fees, and dismiss
the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
are various governmental units ("the Taxing Units")
that sued Derrick Mendoza (not a party on appeal) for
delinquent ad valorem taxes on a parcel of real property.
See Tex. Tax Code Ann. § 33.41. In 2013, the
trial court signed a final judgment in favor of the Taxing
Units, a provision of which foreclosed the property at issue
and ordered it sold. The property was sold at a
constable's sale in April 2015, and the excess proceeds
from the sale were deposited into the court's registry.
As permitted by the Tax Code, portions of the excess proceeds
were distributed to the Taxing Units in late 2015 to account
for taxes that accrued between the date of the judgment and
the date of the sale. See id. § 34.04
(governing claims for excess proceeds from court-ordered
sales). The Taxing Units filed motions in late 2018 for the
remaining excess proceeds to be distributed pro rata to
January 2019, while the Taxing Units' motions were
pending, appellant Silva Rubio intervened in the suit, alleging
she, not Mendoza, owned the property in question at the time
of its sale. She objected to the Taxing Units' motions
for distribution of the remaining excess proceeds and asked
the court to order the Taxing Units to pay her the total
amount received from the sale of the property.
master in chancery heard the Taxing Units' motions.
See id. § 33.71(a) (permitting trial court to
appoint master in chancery in delinquent tax suits). The
master in chancery signed a report on March 22, 2019
recommending the Taxing Units' motions be granted. Rubio
timely appealed that recommendation to the trial court.
See id. § 33.74(a) (permitting appeal of
master's report to trial court within 10 days after
master gives notice of report).
10, 2019, the trial court signed an order granting the
motions ("the Excess Proceeds
Order"). Rubio filed a notice of appeal from that
order on July 10, 2019. Also on July 10, the trial court
signed an order ("the Order Denying
Reconsideration") that states in its entirety:
The Court considered Silvia [sic] Rubio's Appeal of the
March 22, 2019 Recommendation of the Master and Motion for
Reconsideration of the May 10, 2019 Order to Disburse Excess
Proceeds. After considering the Appeal, the Motion, the
record of this case, and the Responses of the other parties,
the Court is of the opinion that:
1. The Master's Recommendation dated March 22, 2019 on
Intervenors' [sic] Petition to Withdraw Remaining Excess
Proceeds is affirmed; and
2. The Motion for Reconsideration is denied.
25, 2019, Rubio filed an amended notice of appeal from both
the Excess Proceeds Order and ...