HOUSTON – A Harris County man who had been evicted from Woodbridge Crossing apartment complex after allegedly failing to pay rent had the eviction affirmed in court.
Justice Terry Jennings, on the bench of the 1st District Court of Appeals, issued a six-page ruling on Oct. 30 affirming the Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 1's decision in the lawsuit filed by Onas Jamal against the complex.
In his ruling, Jennings dismissed Jamal's request for $3 million in damages for the property that was allegedly thrown away, saying that "a party may not be granted relief in the absence of pleadings to support such relief. ... The record contains no pleadings filed by Jamal."
Jennings also stated that Jamal's allegation he was denied a fair trial was "forfeited," since his briefing lacked "any citations to authorities or to the record."
Jamal's appeal in his suit against Woodbridge Crossing alleged that he did not get a fair trial, requested $3 million in damages over allegations that the complex threw his property away, objected that Woodbridge Crossing took possession of the apartment, and complained that the court did not grant his motion for counsel.
The appellant was a resident of the complex who allegedly failed to pay his rent.
"After Jamal allegedly failed to pay rent, Woodbridge Crossing posted a notice to vacate on the inside of the apartment door," starting the eviction suit against Jamal, the ruling states.
The lower court decided in the complex's favor and Jamal appealed for a new trial.
A new trial was held, and the court decided in Woodbridge Crossing's favor once again, confirming the eviction and the possession of the apartment in 2016, plus costs and attorneys' fees.
In regards to costs, per the ruling, "the reporter’s record was not timely filed in this court because Jamal had not made arrangements for payment with the court reporter." Nevertheless, "Jamal had filed a statement of inability to pay costs in the trial court, and neither the clerk nor any party contested the statement," the ruling states.
The lower court recognized the situation and allowed Jamal to proceed as an indigent.
1st District Court of Appeals Case number 01-16-00726-CV