STOCKDICK LAND COMPANY, STEPHEN N. RINER, AND WADE A. RINER, Appellants
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE, AND CARRINGTON MORTGAGE SERVICES, LLC, Appellees and DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE, Appellant
STOCKDICK LAND COMPANY, STEPHEN N. RINER, AND WADE A. RINER, Appellees
Appeal from the 80th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2008-60974A
consists of Justices Wise, Zimmerer, and Spain.
case involves a long-running dispute stemming from a tax
foreclosure sale of a residential property. Each party
appeals the trial court's take-nothing judgment following
their motions for summary judgment on opposing parties'
claims. We affirm.
the history of this case is adequately conveyed in
Deutche Bank National Trust Co. v. Stockdick Land
Co., 367 S.W.3d 308, 309-311 (Tex. App.- Houston [14th
Dist.] 2012, pet. denied) (op. on reh'g). We briefly
reiterate some of the pertinent facts in this opinion.
2006, Gordon and Susan Wittenberg refinanced a mortgage with
New Century Mortgage Corporation. New Century pooled the
Wittenberg mortgage with others and securitized the pool in a
trust. Deutche Bank National Trust Company served as a
trustee and custodian of documents while New Century acted as
2007, Stockdick Land Company purchased the home at a tax
foreclosure sale ordered by the 80th District Court-the trial
court in this appeal. The Wittenbergs tried to redeem the
property from Stockdick through, in part, a promissory note
to Stockdick. Also in 2007, New Century went bankrupt.
Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC acquired New Century's
servicing business and assets, including servicing rights
related to the trust. New Century authorized John Alkire, an
executive vice president of Carrington, to execute documents
on behalf of New Century related to Carrington's new
2008, Deutche Bank sued Stockdick for a declaratory judgment
in the 215th District Court, seeking to establish that the
lien on the property had been revived by
redemption. In 2009, the 215th District Court rendered
a final summary judgment in Stockdick's favor, and this
court ultimately affirmed the judgment in the prior appeal
because the redemption failed.
the 215th District Court signed its final judgment, the court
allowed Deutche Bank, over Stockdick's objection, to
supplement its petition with a new claim for excess proceeds
from the tax sale. The court severed the new claim from the
declaratory judgment action into Cause No. 2008-60974A and
transferred the case to the 80th District Court.
the severance and transfer, Deutche Bank added
Stockdick's principals-Stephen and Wade Riner-as
defendants. Stockdick and the Riners (collectively, the
Stockdick parties) filed claims against Deutche Bank and
Carrington (collectively, the Bank parties) for common law
fraud and statutory fraud, among other claims. See
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 12.002 (relating to
fraud in real estate transactions).
the course of several years, the litigants filed motions for
summary judgment on the opposing side's claims, amended
motions for summary judgment, amended pleadings, and
supplemental evidence. Ultimately, the trial court rendered a
judgment dismissing each side's claims and denying the
Bank parties' motion for attorney's fees and
sanctions. Deutche Bank, Carrington, Stockdick, and the
Riners all appealed.
Deutche Bank's Appeal
Bank contends that the trial court erred by granting the
Stockdick parties' motion for summary judgment on Deutche
Bank's claim for the excess proceeds. The Stockdick
parties contend that this court should affirm the summary
judgment because Deutche Bank does not challenge on appeal at
least one of the grounds urged in the summary judgment
motion. We agree with the Stockdick parties.
their motion for summary judgment, the Stockdick parties
first addressed the preclusive effect of the 2007 judgment in
the 80th District Court. Then, they argued, under a separate
heading regarding the 2009 judgment in the 215th District
Court, "Deutche Bank's claims are also barred by res
judicata, judicial estoppel, and collateral estoppel, because
of the final take nothing judgment entered on April 20, 2009
in Cause No. 2008-60974 . . . . After that final judgment was
entered, Deutche Bank filed a new petition in Cause No.
2008-60974 which was severed into this case. The April 20,
2009 take nothing judgment in Cause No. 2008-60974 bars
Deutsche Bank from re-litigating any claims arising out of
the same transaction the subject of Cause No. 2008-60974 or
that could have been litigated in that case prior to the
April 20, 2009 judgment."
brief on appeal, Deutche Bank does not address this argument.
Deutche Bank focuses solely on whether the 80th District
Court's 2007 disbursement order precluded the claim for
appellant must challenge all possible grounds upon which a
summary judgment could have been granted, whether properly or
improperly. See, e.g., FinServ Cas. Corp. v.
Transamerica Life Ins., 523 S.W.3d 129, 139 (Tex. App.-
Houston [14th Dist.] 2016, pet. denied). "If the
appellant fails to challenge all grounds on which the
judgment may have been granted, the appellate court must
uphold the summary judgment." Heritage Gulf Coast
Props. v. Sandalwood Apartments Inc., 416 S.W.3d 642,
653 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no pet.); see
also Williamson v. State Farm Lloyds, 76 S.W.3d 64, 67
(Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2002, no pet.).
Deutche Bank does not challenge all grounds upon which the
summary judgment may have been granted-in particular, that
the 2009 judgment bars Deutche Bank's claim under the
defense of res judicata-we must uphold the summary judgment.