At Least There Is No Remand This Time

Twice before, Elite Door & Trim had prevailed at the court of appeals in its attempt to obtain a no-answer default judgment against the defendant in a dispute between the two contractors. See Elite Door & Trim, Inc. v. Tapia, 355 S.W.3d 757 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2011, no pet.); In re Elite Door & Trim, Inc., 362 S.W.3d 199 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2012, orig. proceeding). After the trial court again proceeded to hear the default motion, it entered an order denying it once again, finding that Elite had failed to establish liability because it had not proven various non-damages elements of its claims. The court of appeals rejected that finding, because Tapia’s failure to file an answer served as an admission of the contentions in Elite’s petition. The court of appeals also reversed the trial court’s finding that Elite had not submitted competent evidence of its damages, concluding that the testimony of Elite’s president had adequately established the amount and method of calculating the company’s damages, attorney fees, and prejudgment interest. However, the court of appeals rejected Elite’s request for $15,000 in sanctions against the trial judge for requiring Elite to pursue multiple appeals and mandamuses to obtain a no-answer default judgment, as 42 U.S.C. § 1983 no longer permits such relief against a judge for an act or omission taken in the judge’s official capacity in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. In all other respects, the court of appeals rendered judgment in favor of Elite.

Elite Door & Trim, Inc. v. Tapia, No. 05-12-00725-CV

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