For the week of July 19, 2010, the Dallas Court of Appeals issued nineteen opinions in civil cases. Four of these dispose of a case without a detailed discussion of the merits (e.g., dismissing a case for want of prosecution, dismissing a case for mootness, dismissing a case pursuant to settlement). The remaining fifteen cases are as follows:
Carter v. Lavergne (05-09-00333-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing trial court’s ruling on motion for new trial; (2) deadline to file amended motion for new trial; and (3) rule related to conflicting oral and written trial court orders.
City of Dallas v. Jones (05-09-01379-CV) – Recites well-established (1) “law of the case” doctrine; (2) holding that Declaratory Judgment Act waives immunity for governmental entities when the declaratory relief sought involves a challenge to an ordinance or statute; (3) rule that acquiring an interest in land for public use is protected by immunity; and (4) rule that an equal protection claim may be asserted by a plaintiff if he alleges that he has been intentionally treated differently from other similarly situated and there is no rational basis for the difference in treatment.
Cooper v. Litton Loan Servicing LP (05-08-01056-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that a summary judgment disposing of claims not addressed in the motion for summary judgment is improper; and (2) rule that, if a party files a proper no-evidence summary judgment motion and the opposing party fails to file a timely response, the trial court must grant summary judgment.
Dunlap Enters. v. Roly Poly Franchise Systems, L.L.C. (05-08-01566-CV) - Recites well-established standard for reviewing enforceability of forum selection clauses.
Falk & Fish L.L.P. v. Pinkston’s Lawnmower & Equip., Inc. (05-08-01389-CV) - Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing trial court’s order granting special appearance; and (2) standard for reviewing enforceability of forum selection clauses.
In re Behringer Harvard TIC Mgmt. Servs. LP (05-10-00624-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for granting mandamus relief; and (2) standard for reviewing trial court’s order appointing special master.
McAfee, Inc. v. Agilysys, Inc. (05-08-01168-CV) - Recites well-established (1) rule that, when applying a contractual choice-of-law provision, Texas courts apply the substantive law of the choice-of-law provision but apply Texas law to matters of remedy and procedure; (2) rule that, when multiple grounds are raised in a motion for summary judgment and the trial court does not specify the grounds relied upon for its ruling, the appellate court will affirm the summary judgment if any of the grounds advanced in the motion are meritorious; (3) standard for reviewing a no-evidence summary judgment; (4) elements of a breach of contract claim; (5) rule that, unless there is evidence of fraud, bad faith, or illegality, causes of action for unjust enrichment, money had and received, and promissory estoppel are not applicable when an express contract governs the subject matter of the dispute; and (6) definition of the term “agent”.
Merritt v. Douglas (05-09-00180-CV) - Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing whether the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction; (2) rule that judges are immune from liability for judicial acts that are not performed in the clear absence of all jurisdiction; and (3) rule that appellate court indulges every presumption in favor of the regularity of trial court proceedings and documents.
Midwest Med. Supply Co., L.L.C. v. Wingert (05-07-01645-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that an error in failing to file findings of fact and conclusions of law when properly requested is harmful unless the record affirmatively shows that the complaining party suffered no harm; (2) rule that recovery of attorneys’ fees for breach of contract is a substantive issue, not a procedural issue; and (3) standard for reviewing trial court’s award of costs.
Moreno v. Silva (05-09-00624-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that pro se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed attorneys; (2) standard for reviewing denial of motion for continuance; (3) rule that, if a trial court allows an attorney to withdraw, the trial court must give the party time to obtain new counsel and time for the new counsel to investigate the case and prepare for trial; and (4) standard for reviewing traditional motion for summary judgment.
Russell v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist. (05-10-00563-CV) – Recites well-established rule that, once a case has been removed from state to federal court, the state court is divested of all jurisdiction over the case.
Shutter v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (05-09-00639-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing trial court’s decision on a plea in abatement; (2) definition of “plea in abatement”; (3) definition of “forcible detainer”; and (4) rule that complaints regarding validity of sale of property, defects in foreclosure process, defects in title may not be determined in a forcible detainer and must be brought in a separate suit.
Smith v. McKinney Housing Auth. (05-08-01466-CV) – Recites well-established standard for reviewing denial of motion for continuance.
TC Dallas #1, LP v. Republic Underwriters Ins. Co. (05-08-00656-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing traditional summary judgment; and (2) rule that, under Texas Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act, a party to a written contract may seek a judicial determination of the party’s contractual rights.
University of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Gentilello (05-07-00845-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that governmental immunity from suit defeats a trial court’s subject matter jurisdiction; and (2) standard for reviewing whether trial court has subject matter jurisdiction.