Appeal from the County Civil Court at Law No. 3 Harris
County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 1138391
Consists of Justices Jewell, Bourliot, and Zimmerer.
Bridget Hunter appeals the county court's judgment signed
October 17, 2019 awarding possession of her residence to
appellee in a forcible detainer action. See Tex.
Prop. Code § 24.007 (authorizing appeal on issue of
possession for premises "used for residential purposes
only"). The judgment ordered that appellee shall recover
the premises at issue and that writ of possession shall issue
unless execution of the judgment is stayed by posting a
supersedeas bond in the amount of $10, 450.00. On October 29,
2019, appellant filed two emergency motions. In her first
motion, titled "Emergency Motion to Stay Writ of
Possession," appellant requested we stay the writ of
possession issued by the trial court. On November 5, 2019,
this court granted appellant a 14-day stay and requested that
appellee file a response to appellant's motions. In
appellant's second motion, titled "Emergency Motion
to Request a Review of Excessive Supersedeas Bond and Legal
Fees," appellant requested that we review the
supersedeas bond amount and the award of attorney's fees
because she argues they are excessive.
Review of Supersedeas Bond
motion of a party, an appellate court may review the
sufficiency or excessiveness of the amount of security a
trial court determines is necessary to suspend enforcement of
a civil judgment pending appeal. Tex.R.App.P. 24.4(a). We
review the trial court's determination under an
abuse-of-discretion standard. Ramco Oil & Gas, Ltd.
v. Anglo Dutch (Tenge) L.L.C., 171 S.W.3d 905, 909 (Tex.
App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, order). Generally, the test
for abuse of discretion is whether the trial court acted
without reference to any guiding rules and principles or
acted arbitrarily or unreasonably. See McDaniel v.
Yarbrough, 898 S.W.2d 251, 253 (Tex. 1995).
Property Code Section 24.007 and Texas Rule of Appellate
Procedure 24.2(a)(2) govern the security required to suspend
enforcement of an eviction judgment. Section 24.007 of the
Property Code provides:
A final judgment of a county court in an eviction suit may
not be appealed on the issue of possession unless the
premises in question are being used for residential purposes
only. A judgment of a county court may not under any
circumstances be stayed pending appeal unless, within 10 days
of the signing of the judgment, the appellant files a
supersedeas bond in an amount set by the county court. In
setting the supersedeas bond the county court shall provide
protection for the appellee to the same extent as in any
other appeal, taking into consideration the value of rents
likely to accrue during appeal, damages which may occur as a
result of the stay during appeal, and other damages or
amounts as the court may deem appropriate.
Tex. Prop. Code § 24.007. The appellate rules on
security provide that when the court renders a judgment for
the recovery of real property, the amount of security must be
at least "the value of the property interest's rent
or revenue." Tex.R.App.P. 24.2(a)(2)(A).2
review of the record reflects that the monthly rental value
applicable to the property in question is $1, 450.00.
See Tex. Prop. Code § 24.0053(a) (requiring
justice court to note in judgment amount of rent to be paid
each period during pendency of any appeal). The county court
set the supersedeas bond amount at ten times the amount of
appellant's rent, which is an amount equal to ten months
of rent likely to accrue during the pendency of this appeal.
We conclude the county court did not abuse its discretion in
setting this bond amount based on the approximate monthly
rental value and the amount of rent likely to accrue during
pendency of the appeal. See Johnson v. Villatoro,
No. 14-18-00150-CV, 2018 WL 3848070, at *2 (Tex. App.-Houston
[14th Dist.] Aug. 14, 2018, no pet.) (mem. op.) (finding the
trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting the
supersedeas bond at ten times the monthly rent in a forcible
detainer action); see Whitmire v. Greenridge Place
Apartments, No. 01-06-00963-CV, 2007 WL 2894167 at *5-6
(Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 4, 2007, pet. denied)
(mem. op.) (eleven times monthly rent not an abuse of
discretion); see Brady v. Compass Bank, No.
04-19-00021-CV, 2019 WL 1459257, at *2 (Tex. App.-San Antonio
April 3, 2019, no pet.) (mem. op.) (twelve times monthly rent
not an abuse of discretion).
extent appellant's motion can be construed as a challenge
to the bond amount based on substantial economic harm under
Rule 24.2(b) of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, we
conclude appellant did not preserve that challenge in the
county court. A county court has continuing jurisdiction to
order the amount and type of security or, if circumstances
change, to modify the amount or type of security even after
its plenary power expires. Tex.R.App.P. 24.3(a). Further, an
appellate court reviews a county court's determination of
whether an appellant is likely to suffer substantial economic
harm for an abuse of discretion. See O.C.T.G., L.L.P. v.
Laguna Tubular Products Corp., 525 S.W.3d 822, 831 (Tex.
App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2017, op. on motion). We cannot
review the county court's exercise of discretion unless
the record demonstrates that a request to reduce the amount
of security due to substantial economic harm was presented to
the county court and a ruling made thereon. See Law
Eng'g & Envtl. Servs., Inc. v. Slosburg Co., 100
S.W.3d 389, 390 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2002, order).
Our record does not show that appellant has made such a
we affirm the amount of the supersedeas bond set by the trial
court and deny appellant's motion to waive the bond.
Review of Attorney's Fees
requests that we review the award of attorney's fees and
contends the award is excessive, unlawful, arbitrary, and a
"sham." This issue goes to the merits of the appeal
and should be reserved for final briefing on the merits.
Appellant's motion was brought pursuant to Rule 24 of the
Rules of Appellant Procedure, which allows appellate review
of (1) the sufficiency or excessiveness of the amount of
security, (2) the sureties on any bond, (3) the type of
security, (4) the determination whether to permit suspension
of enforcement, and (5) the trial court's exercise of
discretion to order or modify security after its plenary
power expires. See Tex. R. App. P. 24.4(a).