The Dallas Court of Appeals recently held that CPRC 12.002 prohibiting use of a fraudulent court record or lien requires evidence of intent to cause harm at the time of filing the alleged fraudulent record or lien.
In this case, the Plaintiff argued that Defendant’s (an attorney) knowledge of lien law satisfied the knowledge element; and "common knowledge" that interfering with a person’s real property rights will cause harm to that person satisfied the intent to cause harm element.
The Court disagreed and, invoking the "equal inference rule," held that the evidence was also consistent with no intent to cause harm. The Court also rejected Plaintiff’s argument that failing to remove the lien once notified of its invalidity violated 12.002 and demonstrated an intent to cause harm by citing precedent that requires intent to cause harm be present at the time the lien or court record is filed. The Court’s opinion in Aland v. Martin can be found at this link.