When the defendant has filed an answer but doesn’t appear for trial, the plaintiffs have to prove up all elements of their claim in order to obtain a default judgment. In this case, the plaintiffs had previously obtained a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against their stepfather. When they appeared for trial on their request for a permanent injunction, the stepfather did not show up. The plaintiffs’ lawyer then asked the trial court to take judicial notice of the court file, and the lead plaintiff testified that she was asking the court to convert the temporary injunction into a permanent one. On appeal, the court of appeals sided with the stepfather. While the plaintiffs had asked the court to take judicial notice of the file, there had been no ruling on that request, nor had the plaintiffs pointed to any particular materials in the file. Moreover, the elements of a temporary injunction are different from a permanent injunction in any event, particularly the requirement of no adequate remedy at law in order to obtain a permanent injunction. Accordingly, the case was reversed and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
Young v. Smith, No. 05-10-01294-CV