The San Antonio Court of Appeals has held that a party challenging a default judgment may well risk losing the opportunity to challenge the exercise of personal jurisdiction over him unless special precautions are taken.

In Boyd v. Kobierowski, Kobierowski, a Texas resident, sued Boyd, a California resident, in Texas for breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation and DTPA violations.  All causes of action arose from the sale of a vehicle  Boyd sold to Kobierowski. 

Boyd did not answer the suit and Kobierowski took a default judgment against Boyd.  Boyd subsequently filed a restricted appeal to challenge the default judgment.  He prevailed on appeal because of a defect in personal service.  See Appeal No. 04-06-0041-CV

On remand, Kobierowski repeatedly tried to get Boyd to answer the suit, but Boyd did not respond.  Kobierowski then took a second default judgment.  Boyd subsequently filed a special appearance and a motion for new trial subject to the special appearance.  The trial court denied the special appearance, but granted the motion for new trial.  In a second (interlocutory) appeal, Boyd argued that it was error to deny his special appearance.

Continue Reading Waiver of Special Appearances in Default Challenges

Assume a foreign insurance company provides auto insurance cards that specifically cover accidents both in the home country and the United States.  If a car accident occurs in Texas, can the insurer avoid personal jurisdiction in the suit by alleging that it did not purposefully avail itself to Texas?

This was the issue before the Dallas Court of Appeals in Assurances Generales Banque Nationale v. Dhalla.

Continue Reading In case you’re ever in a car accident with someone insured by a foreign insurance company…