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.

Boehl v. Richardson

Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg

December 12, 2019

DWAIN A. BOEHL, Appellant,
v.
LISA RICHARDSON, Appellee.

          On appeal from the County Court at Law No. 2 of Victoria County, Texas.

          Before Justices Benavides, Longoria, and Perkes

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NORA L. LONGORIA Justice

         Appellant Dwain A. Boehl (Dwain) appeals the trial court's judgment entering a forcible detainer in favor of appellee Lisa Richardson, who is a distant cousin to Dwain's father Leroy. By four issues, which we combine into three, Dwain argues that: (1) the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the forcible detainer action; (2) the trial court erroneously awarded attorney's fees; and (3) the findings of fact and conclusions of law are not supported by the evidence. We vacate the judgment and dismiss for want of jurisdiction.

         I. Background

         This appeal concerns the right to possession of certain real property in Victoria, Texas (the Property). Leroy and Margaret Boehl created a living trust in 1996. The Property and the house on the Property were conveyed to the trust by special warranty deed in August 1997. Margaret died in June 2009. Leroy moved to a retirement center in Houston, Texas; he died in June 2018.

         On July 26, 2018, Leroy's daughter Susan Donnell, filed an application to probate Leroy's Last Will and Testament, originally executed in 2016. This 2016 will named Donnell as the independent executor and successor trustee. The 2016 will directed that all personal household effects were to be transferred to the trust, while the rest of the estate was to be given to Donnell, as the trustee, to divide the property in accordance with the trust. During this time, Dwain lived on the Property. On September 13, 2018, Richardson filed an opposition to the probate of the 2016 will. Richardson alleged that on May 22, 2018, when executing his fifth amendment to the trust, Leroy also executed a new will, which replaced Richardson as trustee in place of Donnell.

         Because Leroy resided in Houston at the time of his death, a court in Harris County assumed jurisdiction over the will contest and the trust amendment contest, in case number 472228.

         Meanwhile, Richardson filed an eviction suit in a justice court in Victoria County, claiming that Dwain had no right to possess the Property. During the proceedings, Dwain testified that he currently resided at the Property and had done so since 2005. He stated that he was aware that his parents had placed the Property in their living trust. Dwain also admitted that Leroy had told him to leave the Property shortly before Leroy died. However, Dwain also claims that his father told him that he could move back in at some point and that Dwain was never required to pay rent while he lived at the Property. After Leroy died, Richardson sent Dwain a three-day eviction notice; however, Dwain remained on the Property. He testified that based on the 2016 will, he had no reason to believe that he could no longer reside at the Property. The court admitted Dwain's expert evidence, which indicated that in the handwriting expert's opinions, Leroy did not sign the second will. The justice court determined that Richardson was entitled to immediate possession of the property. Dwain appealed to the county court.

         The county court also found that Richardson was entitled to immediate possession of the Property and awarded her $3, 874.75 in attorney's fees and costs. Dwain filed a motion for new trial and a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law. The county court entered the findings of fact and conclusions of law but denied the motion for new trial. This appeal ensued.

         II. Jurisdiction

         In issues one and two, which we address together, Dwain asserts that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over the forcible detainer suit.

         A. Standard of Review and Applicable Law

         We review de novo whether a trial court has subject-matter jurisdiction to hear a case. See Tex. Dep't of Parks & Wildlife v. Miranda, 133 S.W.3d 217, 228 (Tex. 2004). The issue of subject-matter jurisdiction may be raised for the first time on appeal. See id. To determine whether the plaintiff has affirmatively demonstrated the court's jurisdiction to hear the case, we consider the facts alleged by the plaintiff and, "to the extent it is relevant to the jurisdictional issue, the evidence submitted by the parties." Tex. Nat. Res. Conservation Comm'n v. White, 46 S.W.3d 864, 868 (Tex. 2001). If a plaintiff pleads facts that affirmatively ...


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.