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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Antonio Villalon owned property in Missouri City. When he defaulted on his mortgage, Bank One accelerated the note and foreclosed on the property under a deed of trust. Bank One bought the property at the foreclosure sale. When Villalon refused to vacate the property, the bank filed a forcible detainer action in justice court. Villalon claimed Bank One had not complied with certain provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Though he filed an answer, Villalon did not receive notice of the trial setting. Nonetheless, he appeared at trial, and the trial court signed a judgment awarding Bank One immediate possession of the property. On appeal to the county court, Villalon’s attorney stipulated that Villalon originally financed purchase of the property with a promissory note secured by a deed of trust. He also stipulated that Bank One bought the property at the foreclosure sale, and that the deed of trust provides that Villalon and all other occupants become tenants in sufferance following a foreclosure sale. Still, Villalon asked the trial court to dismiss the action on the ground that he did not receive notice of the trial setting below. The trial court agreed that any error that may have occurred relating to notice was cured by a new trial in county court. The trial court further agreed that it was without jurisdiction in a forcible detainer action to consider whether Bank One had proper title to the property. On appeal, Villalon again complains of the lack of notice of the trial setting, and he again raises issues under the FDCPA. HOLDING:Affirmed. Contrary to Villalon’s assertion, the justice court’s judgment, made without giving Villalon notice of the trial setting, is not void. Unlike the requirements for service of citation, strict compliance with the rules governing notice of a trial setting is not necessary to the trial court’s jurisdiction. Besides, the perfection of an appeal from justice court to county court for a trial de novo vacates and annuls the judgment of the justice court. That is, the county court could not affirm or reverse a justice court judgment, nor remand back to it. Thus, it logically follows that, absent an agreement of the parties, the county court in this case was also without authority to dismiss the forcible detainer action based on any violation of Villalon’s due process rights for lack of notice of the justice court’s trial setting. As for violations of the FDCPA, the court reminds Villalon that in a forcible detainer action, the only issue is the right to actual possession. As a person displaced by the forcible detainer action, Villalon is entitled to bring a separate suit in the district court to determine the question of title to the property. OPINION:Higley, J.; Nuchia, Alcala and Higley, JJ.

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