Samuel T. Russell v. City of Dallas, 05-13-00061-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas, May 16, 2014).
This is a substandard building case where Russell challenged the demolition of a building on his property and brought a takings claim against the City. The trial court issued a judgment for the City and the Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed.
The City sought and received a demolition order for a building on the property from its municipal court of record. Russell filed suit asserting that since acquiring the property he had brought it up to code (or close enough), it was no longer an urban nuisance under the City’s Code, and he brought a takings claim. The trial court entered a temporary order requiring Russell to do certain actions and make the property available for inspection. However, after a trial to the court, the court ordered the building demolished and Russell appealed.
This holding is not of great significance because the court never really gets to the heart of the matter. It first notes that since Russell did not present a reporter’s record of the trial or request findings of fact, the appellate court must assume the record supports the judgment. Russell failed to properly preserve for appeal his challenge to the requirement of a verified pleading (because it can be waived). His takings claim focused on unpled claims and without a proper record to show otherwise, Russell waived this claim as well. The trial judgment was affirmed.
If you would like to read this opinion click here. Panel: Justice FitzGerald, Justice Fillmore, and Justice Evans. Memorandum Opinion by Justice Fillmore. The attorneys listed for the City are Thomas P. Perkins Jr., Barbara E. Rosenberg, Christopher J. Caso, and Andrew M. Gilbert. The attorneys for Russell are Samuel T. Russell and Timothy E. Baker.