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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In 1969, covenants and restrictions for the Country Club Estates were implemented. The covenants contained an amendment provision requiring any amendments to be filed with the clerk’s office in Cameron County. Later, the VICC Homeowners’ Association circulated a petition among the lot owners, and those who signed it were voicing their opinion that they wanted to terminate the 1969 covenants. The petition did not include an attached revision or amendment. VICC filed what it called “amended” covenants and restrictions with the Cameron County Clerk’s office in March 2001. The eight-page amendment was accompanied by a verification statement that a majority of the lot owners had executed an agreement in writing approving of the amendments. Several lots owners who had not agreed to the revision sued for a declaratory judgment that the attempted amendments were void. The lot owners filed for summary judgment on two grounds: 1. the 2001 amended covenants were not passed in compliance with the requirements of the 1969 covenants; and 2. VICC had failed to obtain a majority vote to approve amending the 1969 covenants. The trial court granted the lot owners summary judgment without specifying its reasons. HOLDING:Affirmed in part; reversed and remanded in part. As a procedural matter, the court first considers VICC’s contention that the trial court should have stricken the lot owners’ summary judgment evidence — that is, copies of covenants from 1965, 1969 and 2001 — because none of it was verified. However, the record reflects that during the summary judgment hearing, the trial court admitted the exhibits predicated on the county clerk’s authentication. The lot owners filed the certified records the same day. Because this was within the trial court’s discretion, the court rejects VICC’s argument. The court then turns to the trial court’s decision to void the 2001 amended covenants. For a subsequent instrument to amend the original restrictive covenants governing a subdivision, three conditions must be met: 1. the right to amend and the method of amendment must be expressly provided for in the instrument creating the original restrictions; 2. the right to amend implies only those changes contemplating a correction, improvement, or reformation of the agreement rather than complete destruction of it; and 3. amendment may not be illegal or against public policy. The court concludes that when the amending provision of the 1969 covenants is read as a whole and in the light of its purpose, the intent was that any termination, modification or revision of the covenants be agreed to by a majority of the lot owners. Thus, VICC was required to obtain the agreement of a majority of the lot owners to either terminate, modify or revise the 1969 covenants. Further, any modification or revision of the 1969 covenants was required to be “as prescribed in such agreement.” Here, the petitions VICC circulated merely described revising and or terminating the 1969 covenants but did not include specific revisions to that effect. The homeowners who signed the petitions never saw what was eventually filed with the clerk’s office. “At most, by signing the circulated petition, the homeowners agreed only to terminate the 1969 Covenants. Because VICC attempted to modify or revise the 1969 Covenants without the consent of a majority of the landowners, we conclude that VICC failed to comply with the method of amendment, that such action was contrary to the intention of the amending provision of the 1969 Covenants, and thus, is of no effect.” The court, however, finds the trial court’s award of attorneys’ fees to the lot owners unfounded, as the lot owners did not file any affidavits or other summary judgment evidence in support of their request. Consequently, the lot owners have not met their burden of showing they are entitled to summary judgment on attorneys’ fees as a matter of law. OPINION:: Hinojosa, J.; Hinojosa, Yanez, and Castillo, JJ. Castillo, J., filed a concurring opinion.

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