Smith v. City of Wichita Falls, No. 02-14-00183-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 5716 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth June 4, 2015, no pet.)
This appeal is from a suit for delinquent taxes and foreclosure of a tax lien. Appellant Smith was sued along with three other individuals by the taxing entities for delinquent taxes on property for various tax years. After a bench trial, the trial court entered a judgment in favor of the taxing entities, and Smith appealed.
Smith first claims that the trial court erred in not dismissing him from the lawsuit because he did not own the property during the tax years in issue. At trial, the taxing entities presented a certified copy of the tax statement and a certified copy of the warranty deed showing conveyance of the property to Smith. Because the trial court sustained the taxing entities objections to the evidence Smith attempted to introduce at trial showing his non-ownership, the taxing entities’ evidence was uncontroverted. As such, the court of appeals held that the evidence was legally and factually sufficient to support the judgment. Smith next claims that he was denied due process because he was not notified of the delinquent taxes and afforded an opportunity to challenge the valuation. However, because the court of appeals found that the taxing entities had presented a prima facie case and Smith had not introduced controverting evidence showing tax notices were not delivered, the court of appeals also overruled Smith on this issue. Accordingly, the court of appeals upheld the trial court’s judgment.