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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Daniel Lee Alford III leased the Allen Ranch near Van Horn to run cattle on it. Alford and the ranch owner (“Allen”) had an oral agreement regarding grazing rights. Under the agreement, Alford was to pay Allen at the end of each year a fee based on the number of cattle grazed on a monthly basis. There was a $3 fee for each cow and a $2 fee for each yearling being held in ranch pens. Alford did not pay Allen any rent during 1996. The Allen Ranch was sold in May 1996 to a Houston company. The company’s representative, David Chu, talked to Alford about continuing the lease after the sale, but they did not reach an agreement. Two months later, Chu informed Alford that Doug Johnston and Jack Dees were leasing the ranch as of Oct. 1, and that Alford should vacate the premises by Sept. 30. Alford eventually paid Chu $1,500 for the use of the ranch from July to September at the $2 per head rate. Under their lease, Dees and Johnston were to pay Chu $1,000 per month, which amounted to $1 per acre in annual rent. Believing his prior lease with Allen was still in force, Alford did not leave the ranch at the end of September. Consequently, Johnston filed a forcible entry and detainer action against Alford in justice court and won. Alford appealed to the county court, but, according to Alford, he agreed with Johnston to drop his appeal and allow Johnston’s cows to run on the property in exchange for Johnston letting Alford keep his yearlings in the ranch pens. According to Johnston, the only agreement the two had was that Alford would vacate the ranch entirely by the end of 1996. Furthermore, Johnston said there was no agreement to release Alford from his obligation to pay for the cattle Alford was keeping on the ranch. When Johnston finally took possession of the ranch land, he found problems with the water system. It cost him $14,000 to repair and replace missing components � components taken by Alford when he vacated the ranch. Johnston subsequently sued Alford for pasturage damages resulting from Alford’s failure to leave the ranch after Sept. 30. For the three months Alford held over, Johnston still had to pay his $1,000 per month in rent, he said, yet he was unable to run his cattle on the land. Johnston also sued to recover the damages incurred in repairing and replacing the water system parts. After a bench trial, the trial court did not award damages for the cost of repairing and replacing the water system parts, but the trial court did award Johnston $2,874.23 in pasturage damages and $2,000 in attorneys’ fees. Alford appeals both damages awards. HOLDING:Affirmed. In challenging the pasturage damages, Alford argues that he had an agreement to use the ranch land from October to December, so Johnston was not entitled to any further compensation. The court points out that because the trial court awarded Johnston pasturage damages, there was an implied finding that there was no agreement obviating Alford’s obligation during the holdover period. The court also notes that there is no question that Alford was a holdover tenant, and that Johnston could not take possession of the ranch while Alford was there. The court then finds evidence that $1,000 per month was a reasonable rate for Johnston’s lease of the ranch. Consequently, the evidence supports the trial court’s award of pasturage damages for the three month period. As for attorneys’ fees, the court points out that Johnston’s attorneys said he believed that $5,000 was a reasonable fee for his services. Alford’s attorney contested that assertion, saying $5,000 was not a reasonable amount because the bulk of the case was primarily a tort action, and attorneys’ fees are not recoverable in general tort actions. Specifically, Alford says that Johnston made an excessive demand � $16,000 in tort damages and $6,000 in pasturage damages � and that Johnston was precluded from recovering attorneys’ fees because of this “outrageous demand.” “While a demand that is greater than the eventual judgment is some evidence of excessiveness, this fact is not the sole criterion for determining whether the demand was excessive. . . . The evidence supports the trial court’s implied finding that the demand was not excessive. Without any evidence of unreasonableness or bad faith on the part of Mr. Johnston, we cannot conclude that the demand was excessive as a matter of law.” Finally, the court rules that the trial court’s decision not to require Johnston’s attorney to segregate his fees was not unreasonable or arbitrary. Even if Johnston failed to adequately segregate his fees, the court finds, the award would still stand, as the trial court was entitled to take judicial notice of the usual and customary attorneys’ fees for the services provided and the contents of the case file, even though no request for judicial notice was made for the trial court to do so and the trial court did not formally announced that it was doing so. OPINION:David Wellington Chew, J.; Barajas, C.J., McClure and Chew, JJ.

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