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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In 1993, Jerry E. and Sylvia J. King purchased property on Highgate Lane in Dallas. They financed their purchase with a mortgage loan. The loan documents included a note, deed of trust and a vendor’s lien retained in the general warranty deed. After the Kings defaulted under the terms of the note, Wells Fargo notified the Kings that it was accelerating the note and proceeding with foreclosure. While preparing for the foreclosure, however, Wells Fargo discovered Jerry King had recorded liens in the amount of $125,000 plus interest against the property. Wells Fargo filed this action to establish its rights under the 1993 loan documents and to declare Jerry King’s liens invalid. The Kings filed an answer, counterclaims and various affirmative defenses in claiming that the 1993 loan documents were superceded by a note and deed of trust executed in September 2004. The trial court granted Wells Fargo summary judgment. The Kings appealed, asserting that the trial court denied their rights to due process and a trial by jury under the federal and state constitutions when it rendered summary judgment granting Wells Fargo declaratory relief. Specifically, the Kings argued their right to a trial by jury was violated by the trial court’s summary judgment. HOLDING:Affirmed. The Kings contended that the trial court’s summary judgment order was contrary to the law and evidence. In support of their argument, the Kings attacked multiple allegations in Wells Fargo’s original petition and referenced their own responsive pleadings as support for their position that summary judgment was improper, the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas noted. The Kings also argued, without reference to a single citation to the summary judgment record, that the 2004 promissory note superceded the 1993 loan documents upon which Wells Fargo relied for summary judgment, the court noted. The Kings, the court stated, had the burden of directing the court to the evidence in the record that supports their contentions. It is not an appellate court’s duty, the court stated, to make an independent search of the voluminous summary judgment record for evidence supporting the Kings’ position. Moreover, the court stated, pleadings do not constitute summary judgment proof. Thus, the court found that the Kings’ reliance on their pleadings and attachments to the pleadings to create a fact issue was misplaced. In conclusion, the court stated that summary judgment is a procedure that may be used to dispose of a civil case when there are no genuine issues of material fact and only questions of law exist. While the Kings identified several allegations in Wells Fargo’s pleadings that they contend should have been heard by a jury, the court stated that the Kings’ brief does not refer to any evidence before the trial court that disputes Wells Fargo’s allegations or raises a material fact issue that would preclude summary judgment. The court held that because no material issues of fact existed to submit to a jury, the granting of summary judgment against the Kings would not violate their constitutional right to a jury trial. OPINION:Morris, J.; Morris, Whittington and Richter, J.J.

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