SE Texas Record

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Appeals court denies customer's request for bill of review against Reliant Energy

State Court

By Marian Johns | Sep 9, 2019

HOUSTON — A Texas appeals court has denied a customer's request for a bill of review in a case involving a suit filed against her by Reliant Energy. The suit  sought garnishment of her bank account and allegations that she did not receive notice of trail court's final judgment in the suit. 

According to the Aug. 29 Texas First District Court of Appeals ruling, appellant Regenia Bechem filed a bill of review and a motion for summary judgment in a case involving the appellees Reliant Energy Retail Services, LLC and Comerica Bank. 

The case stems from Reliant Energy receiving a money judgment against Bechem and receiving a writ of garnishment for an account Bechem held with her mother at Comerica Bank. Bechem attempted to dismiss the writ due to the account being set up "for the benefit of her mother" but failed to appear at the hearing. A trial court then entered a judgment based on Reliant and Comerica stating they had reached a settlement. 

The appeals court affirmed the trial court's judgment and denied Bechem's en banc motion for a panel hearing. 

According to the appellant court filing, Bechem argues the trial court "prematurely" dismissed her bill of review and also argues the trial court erred in their denying her motion for summary judgment "because she established the elements of her bill of review as a matter of law."

"We hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing Bechem’s bill-of-review proceeding for want of prosecution," Chief Justice Sherry Radack wrote in the appeals court's opinion. "Thus, when a trial court denies a motion for summary judgment and subsequently dismisses the case, as here, the order denying the motion for summary judgment is not reviewable on appeal." 

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