1st District affirms dismissal of suit and sanctions against man over towing of car

By Kasey Schefflin-Emrich | Dec 20, 2018

HOUSTON – The Court of Appeals for the 1st District of Texas has affirmed a Harris County Civil Court ruling that dismissed an appeal over the towing of a car.

According to the opinion issued Dec. 4, the Appeals Court disagreed with Ali Yazdchi that the Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 2 erred when it dismissed his suit and awarded sanctions against him and affirmed the lower court's ruling.

Yazdchi filed two separate suits against Makansam Inc. doing business as Ideal Towing, Oaks Condominium Association and Area 5 Vehicle Storage in November 2016 for towing two of his cars in September of that year with the first car being the subject of the dismissed appeal. The trial court dismissed the appeal because Yazdchi failed to file a proper bond that was necessary due to his designation as a vexatious litigant.

“Here, the undisputed facts show that, while Yazdchi filed a security in the underlying case, he first pledged that security in another case,” Justice Laura Carter Higley wrote in the decision. “Yazdchi was required by the administrative judge to file two separate securities. By attempting to use the same security after pledging it in another case, Yazdchi did not comply with the order of the administrative judge or the order of the trial court in the underlying case.”

In the appeal, Yazdchi claims the bond was erroneously filed first in the other case and that the two cases should have only been one case and thus he should only have had to file one security bond.

“Nothing in the record suggests that, when he filed the bond in the other case, Yazdchi filed the bond erroneously or that he took any steps to call the error to the attention of either court,” Higley wrote. “...The record shows that Yazdchi initiated two separate actions in the justice court, separately appealed the judgments in both cases, sought permission to proceed in both cases, and sought to separately appeal the judgments from both county courts. There is no indication that Yazdchi ever attempted to consolidate the cases.”

The Appeals Court also affirmed the trial court’s decision to award sanctions against Yazdchi due to Yazdchi filing the suit without first having obtained permission from an administrative judge. In the appeal of the sanctions, Yazdchi said he wasn’t aware that he had received a vexatious litigant designation and that he was required to obtain permission. 

“This argument was not presented to the trial court,” Higley wrote. “Accordingly, this cannot be a ground for establishing the trial court abused its discretion...Moreover, it is a matter of public record that Yazchi knew by at least April 2015 that he had been declared a vexatious litigant, and he subsequently challenged the designation on appeal.”

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