law-lien | validity of liens | lien priority | homestead protection | suit for declaratory judgment | foreclosure |
trespass to try title action | cloud on title |
LIEN LAW CASES
PETITIONS DENIED BY THE TEXAS SUPREME COURT
MICHAEL O. MURRAY AND WHITNEY W. MURRAY v. THE CADLE COMPANY; from Dallas County; 5th district
(05-06-01481-CV, 257 SW3d 291, 04-25-08)(lien priority, foreclosure, equitable subrogation)
GARY E. PATTERSON & ASSOCIATES, P.C. v. RONALD W. HOLUB, ET UX., MARY R. HOLUB, AND
HOUSTON TITLE CO.; from Harris County; 1st district (01-04-00108-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 01-10-08) as
amended (validity of lien, suit for attorney's fees, settlement)
THE CITY OF HOUSTON v. SATURN CAPITAL CORPORATION; from Harris County; 14th district
(14-07-00379-CV, 246 SW3d 242, 12-11-07)(governmental immunity, sovereign immunity, local governmental
units, grant of plea to the jurisdiction reversed, illegal fee, invalid lien)
TAMMY ELKINS v. BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.; from Dallas County; 5th district (05-06-00065-CV, 232 SW3d
345, 08-15-07, pet. denied Jun 2008) (Justice Johnson not sitting)(home equity loan, validity of lien, finality)
(suit for declaration that home equity loan and resulting lien are void because the loan fails to comply with the
home equity loan provisions of the Texas Constitution)
NACOGDOCHES COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT, D/B/A NACOGDOCHES MEMORIAL HOSPITAL v.
CHARLES RAY NEWMAN AND JIMMY WAYNE CURTIS; from Nacogdoches County; 12th district
(12-06-00375-CV, ___ S.W.3d ___, 05-23-07, pet. denied May 2008)(Cost of medical treatment, auto
accident)(District lacked standing to bring suit against Newman under Chapter 55 and a suit to enforce a
Chapter 55 lien was not ripe)
THE CADLE COMPANY AND CADLEWAY PROPERTIES, INC. v. MARY ESTER ORTIZ AND DAVID ORTIZ;
(Dissenting Opinion) from Calhoun County; 13th district (13-06-00282-CV, 227 SW3d 831, 05-17-07, pet.
denied April 2008) (wrongful foreclosue, mechanics lien, attorneys fees)
This appeal arises from a wrongful foreclosure lawsuit. Mary Ester Ortiz and David Ortiz, appellees,
obtained a judgment invalidating a lien on their homestead held by The Cadle Company and Cadleway
Properties, Inc. ("Cadle"), appellants. The trial court declared a wrongful foreclosure and also awarded the
Ortizes attorneys' fees. The issues presented are (1) whether a mechanic's lien against a marital homestead
is valid if the lien documents are not signed by both spouses, and (2) whether attorneys' fees are available in
a foreclosure case wherein title ultimately depends upon a deed's construction. We hold that the mechanic's
lien is invalid, and attorneys' fees are available. Accordingly, we affirm the district court's judgment on both
KAT HERINE BEAM HOOPER DVORAK v. CATHEY E. WILSON, BENNY WILSON AND RMCVANGUARD
MORTGAGE CORPORATION; from Bandera County; 4th district (04-06-00276-CV, 288 SW3d 228, 04-25-07,
pet. denied April 2008)(judgement liens, enforcement, lien, abstract of judgment)
In this case, we are asked to determine whether an abstract of judgment indexed in local property records
by a judgment creditor was sufficient to establish an enforceable judgment lien against the judgment debtor's
real property when the creditor identified the debtor in the abstract of judgment only by her maiden
name, and not by her married name, which is the name in which the debtor holds title to the property at issue.
Under the specific facts of this case, we hold that the abstract of judgment filed by the creditor did not create
an enforceable judgment lien; therefore, we reverse the trial court's judgment and render judgment in favor of
the appellants/cross-appellees, Cathey and Benny Wilson and RMCVanguard Mortgage Corporation.
WASHINGTON MUTUAL BANK v. VIRIGIL A. PIERCE; (with dissent) from Van Zandt County; 12th district (12-
06-00396-CV, 226 SW3d 711, 05-23-07, pet. denied March 2008)(real estate law, lien, cloud on title)
Virgil A. Pierce sued Washington Mutual Bank (the “Bank”) to remove a cloud on the title of his current
home, claiming that home as his homestead. The Bank moved for traditional summary judgment, which was
granted. In one issue, Pierce argues that a genuine issue of material fact existed in the case and, therefore,
the trial court improperly granted summary judgment. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.
CAMERON LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY v. PACTIV CORPORATION; from Cameron County; 13th district (13-
05-00760-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 08-23-07, pet. denied March 2008) (lien law, UDJA)
This is a lien priority case. Appellant, Cameron Life Insurance Company, filed a declaratory judgment action
against appellee, Pactiv Corporation, seeking a declaration that a lien it acquired from Aaron Joiner took
priority over Pactiv's lien. Cameron Life urged protection under section 51.006 of the Texas Property Code.
(1) See Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 51.006(a) (Vernon 2007). It also claimed subrogation rights. Pactiv filed a
motion for summary judgment arguing that its lien is superior to Cameron Life's interest and that Cameron
Life's subrogation claim fails. Cameron Life filed a cross-motion for summary judgment asserting that section
51.006 maintains Cameron Life's lien priority over Pactiv's lien and that it is entitled to subrogation. The trial
court granted summary judgment in favor of Pactiv and ordered that Pactiv's lien on the property made the
basis of the lawsuit is superior to any lien asserted by Cameron Life and that Pactiv is entitled to foreclose on
its lien against the property. By four issues, Cameron Life contends the trial court erred in granting Pactiv's
motion for summary judgment because (1) Cameron Life did not have personal knowledge of Pactiv's
judgment lien filed against the property, (2) it had rights of subrogation to the first priority lien, (3) it was
entitled to priority for ad valorem taxes it paid on the property, and (4) Pactiv's abstract of judgment was
defective. We affirm.
MARY LOU WILCOX AND MICHAEL ROSCOM v. JOHN T. MARRIOTT AND REBECCA MARRIOTT; from
Montgomery County; 9th district (09-05-00469-CV, 230 SW3d 266, 07-12-07, pet. denied March 2008)
(real estate law, lien law, homestead protection)
Mary Lou Wilcox and Michael L. Roscom appeal the judgment entered after a jury trial in a suit filed by John
T. Marriott and Rebecca A. Marriott to enjoin execution on a judgment Wilcox and Roscom obtained against
Daniel Roscom. (1) Wilcox filed the abstract of judgment in Montgomery County on August 4, 1999.
Substantial changes to the homestead laws of the State of Texas became effective January 1, 2000. See Tex.
Const. art. XVI, § 51; Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §§ 41.002, 41.005 (Vernon 2000). Roscom sold the approximately
1½ acre property on which he and his wife lived to Marriott after the effective date of the amendments. The
jury found that Roscom intended to claim the property as his homestead when he sold it to the Marriotts. The
trial court ruled the entire parcel is included in the homestead exemption from forced sale, and that the
judgment lien did not attach to the property. Wilcox raises five issues on appeal. We reverse and remand for
entry of a new declaratory judgment.