Opinion by Justice Seymore
Panel members: Justices Brock Yates, Edelman and Seymore
Full case stayle: BancorpSouth Bank f/k/a Bank of Mississippi v. Albert Prevot
Fourteenth Court of Appeals (see other May 2008 Opinion from the 14th Court)
Appeal from 215th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Levi James Benton
S U B S T I T U T E O P I N I O N
BY JUSTICE CHARLES SEYMORE
We grant appellee's motion for rehearing. We withdraw our opinion dated February 26, 2008 and issue this substitute opinion.
Appellant, BancorpSouth Bank f/k/a Bank of Mississipi ("Bancorp"), filed a motion to enforce a 2004 Mississippi judgment against appellee, Albert Prevot, that was filed in Texas in 2005 pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act ("UEFJA"). The trial court signed a final order stating it did not grant or deny the motion because it had no jurisdiction.
We reverse and render judgment that the trial court has jurisdiction to enforce the 2004 Mississippi judgment, filed in Texas in 2005, and that the 2004 Mississippi judgement, filed in Texas in 2005, is presently enforceable as a Texas judgment.
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The Judgment Is Presently Enforceable.
In sum, the trial court erred by ruling it lacks jurisdiction to enforce the judgment. Prevot contends his arguments opposing enforcement of the judgment are meritorious; thus, we should uphold the trial court's order even if it erred by ruling it lacks jurisdiction to enforce the judgment. We disagree.
As we have discussed, the Mississippi judgment became a final, enforceable Texas judgment when filed in Texas. Prevot did not raise his challenges to enforcement in a timely post-judgment motion or appeal from the judgment. Further, he may not collaterally attack the judgment on these grounds. Consequently, Prevot bears the burden to obtain an order vacating the judgment via a bill of review. Therefore, short of Prevot's prevailing on a bill of review, the trial court has no alternative but to enforce the judgment as requested by Bancorp in its motion. When reversing a trial court's judgment, we must render the judgment the trial court should have rendered, except when (1) remand is necessary for further proceedings, or (2) the interests of justice require remand for another trial. Tex. R. Civ. App. 43.3. Accordingly, our ruling the trial court has jurisdiction to enforce the judgment also militates a holding that the judgment is presently enforceable. We sustain Bancorp's first issue.
We reverse the trial court's final order and render judgment that (1) the trial court has jurisdiction to enforce the "Default Judgment" entered by the Circuit Court of Harrison County, Mississippi, Second Judicial District, on November 23, 2004, and filed in Texas on February 17, 2005, and (2) the "Default Judgment" entered by the Circuit Court of Harrison County, Mississippi, Second Judicial District, on November 23, 2004, and filed in Texas on February 17, 2005 is presently enforceable as a Texas judgment.
/s/ Charles W. Seymore, Justice