Dallas Court of Appeals cases for the week of November 7, 2011

For the week of November 7, 2011, the Dallas Court of Appeals issued twenty-one opinions in civil cases.  Twelve 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 nine cases are as follows:

Broadnax v. Texas Mut. Ins. Co. (05-11-0589-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that a plaintiff has the absolute right to a non-suit of its case at the moment the plaintiff file a non-suit motion with the clerk or makes a motion in open court as long as the defendant has not made a claim for affirmative relief; (2) rule that an order granting a non-suit, not the requesting of a nonsuit, triggers appellate deadlines; and (3) rule that, without a timely-filed notice of appeal, an appellate court has no jurisdiction over an appeal.

Bruce v. Federal Nat’l Mortgage Ass’n (05-10-01402-CV) – Recites well-established (1) rule that, in a forcible detainer action, the only issue to be determined is whether a party seeking is entitled to immediate possession; and (2) rule that a forcible detainer action is in addition to any other remedy that a party may have, such as a question regarding title.

GE Money Bank v. Sharif (05-10-01222-CV) –  Recites well-established rule that an order granting a motion for new trial within the trial court’s plenary jurisdiction is not subject to review either by direct appeal from that order or from a final judgment rendered after further proceedings in the trial court.

Imagine Auto. Group, Inc. v. Boardwalk Motor Cars, LLC (05-11-01119-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing trial court’s determination of the amount of security necessary to supercede a judgment; and (2) rule that attorneys’ fees are not considered “compensatory damages” in a breach of contract case unless the contract provides for fees as compensation.  Additionally, holds that attorneys’ fees are not considered compensatory damages in a Texas Theft Liability Act case.

In re A.T. (05-10-00363-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard for reviewing an order granting or denying a bill of review; (2) under an abuse of discretion standard, legal and factual insufficiency are not independent grounds for reversal; and (3) statute of limitations applicable to bills of review.

In re Estate of Hudson (05-11-00008-CV) – Recites well-established rule that the proponent of a will has the burden to establish that the will is valid and has not been revoked.

In re J.D.D. (05-10-01488-CV) – Recites well-established standard for reviewing trial court’s decision to modify child support or conservatorship.

Litoff v. Meadows Serv. Corp. (05-10-01173-CV) – Recites well-established (1) standard of review of county court’s dismissal for deficient appeal bond; (2) rule that appellate jurisdiction is never presumed; and (3) rule that a court always has the authority to determine its own subject matter jurisdiction.

Walters v. 21st Century Ins. Co. (05-11-01391-CV) – Recites well-established rule that an oral notice of appeal does not constitute a notice of appeal within the meaning of the rules of appellate procedure.

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