While the blog has been quiet for a while, the justices at the original 600 Commerce have been clearing out a lot of summary dismissals lately (not to mention handling their usual docket of criminal and family law cases, which we generally don’t blog about here). Three of those short dismissal opinions today turn on issues that may be of some interest.
In Earth Energy Utility Corp. v. Environmentally Engineered Equipment, Inc., No. 05-10-01610-CV, the court of appeals had previously granted leave for the appellant’s attorneys to withdraw. The court instructed the appellant corporation that it needed to provide notice of the identity of substitute counsel, and even granted an additional 45 days to do so. Four months later, the appellant still had not obtained successor counsel, and so the court dismissed the appeal. The lesson: Corporations still can’t represent themselves pro se.
In Bryant v. US Bank, N.A., No. 05-11-00121-CV, the court of appeals dismissed the appeal due to the appellant’s lack of standing. The appellant had certainly had standing to defend the case when US Bank sued her in a forcible detainer proceeding, but the trial court subsequently dismissed the bank’s case for want of prosecution. For some reason, the defendant sought appellate review of the DWOP. Because her rights were not prejudiced when the trial court dismissed the bank’s case against her, the court of appeals determined that she lacked standing to appeal.
Finally, in Olanya v. U.S. Bank, N.A., No. 05-11-00878, the bank had actually been awarded judgment for possession in another forcible detainer case. But the defendant did not supercede the judgment pending appeal, and the bank took possession of the property. Since the entire point of a forcible detainer claim is to obtain immediate possession of the property, and that had already occurred, the issue of immediate possession had been rendered moot. Accordingly, the court dismissed the appeal.