Opinions, Jan. 25, 2017: Bill of Review

The First District Court of Appeals released its memorandum opinion in Chisti v. Wilwerding, No 01-16-00408-CV, affirming the trial court’s denial of a bill of review.

Samsher Chisti filed a bill of review requesting the trial court (the 257th in Harris County) set aside the divorce decree entered in his divorce from Kiran Wilwerding. Evidently representing himself at the hearing on the bill of review, Chisti alleged that the decree was fraudulently obtained because, according to him, Wilwerding committed bigamy without informing the trial court. The trial court denied the bill of review, Chisti appealed. The Court of Appeals held that Chisti proffered no evidence in trial court to support his allegations and affirmed the trial court.




Opinions, Jan. 19, 2017: Violent Kidnappers Don’t Get Possession & Access

Yesterday the First District Court of Appeals issued its memorandum opinion in Camero v. Camero, No. 01-15-00860-CV, affirming the trial court’s judgment.

Samantha and Fernando were  married in 2010 and had two children during the marriage. Samantha filed a pro se petition for divorce in March 2014 and then, with the help of a legal aid service, an amended petition. She also obtained a protective order against Fernando. The case was tried to the bench on July 29, 2015. Samantha was present and testified but Fernando did not attend because he was incarcerated, having been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Samantha alleged that she and Fernando had been separated in January 2014 when Fernando kidnapped her and the two children and held them against their will for over a month. He assaulted her daily and threatened to kill her and the children. She managed to escape and Fernando was arrested in February 2014 and later convicted. At trial she testified that Fernando had an extensive substance abuse problem and a history of family violence. At the conclusion of trial, the trial court appointed Samantha SMC and Fernando PC with no visitation.

Fernando filed a pro se appeal alleging two issues: 1) the trial court abused its discretion when it ordered that he not have access or visitation with his children; and 2) the trial court abused its discretion when it did not permit him as an inmate to proceed by affidavit, deposition, telephone or other means.

I’m not even going to address Fernando’s first issue. As to the second, the record shows that even though he had notice of the trial date, before trial Fernando failed to request to appear by alternative means.

The Court of Appeals overruled both issues and affirmed the trial court.