CI HOST INC. AND CHRISTOPHER A. FAULKNER , Appellants v. ASHRAF IBRAHIM A/K/A ASH ABRAHAM, AppelleeAnnotate this Case
AFFIRMED; Opinion Filed November 9, 2006.
Court of Appeals
Fifth District of Texas at Dallas
CI HOST INC. AND CHRISTOPHER A. FAULKNER , Appellants
ASHRAF IBRAHIM A/K/A ASH ABRAHAM, Appellee
On Appeal from the County Court at Law No. 3
Dallas County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 04-00684-B
Before Justices Wright, O'Neill, and Lang-Miers
Opinion By Justice O'Neill
Appellants CI Host, Inc. and Christopher A. Faulkner appeal a judgment granted in favor of appellee Ashraf Ibrahim a/k/a Ash Abraham. In two points of error, appellants contend (1) Ibrahim lacked standing to bring his claims, and (2) the evidence is legally insufficient to support the damages award. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court's judgment.
Appellee Ashra Ibrahim leased a home to CI Host. Christopher A. Faulkner, CI Host's president, lived on the property and guaranteed the lease. According to Ibrahim, Faulkner damaged the house during the lease. After Faulkner moved out, Ibrahim sued CI Host and Faulkner for breach of the lease agreement, requesting damages for the cost of repairs. Following a bench trial, the trial court awarded Ibrahim $18,498 in damages. In his first point of error, appellants contend the trial court lacked jurisdiction because Ibrahim did not have standing to bring his claims. Standing is a necessary part of the trial court's subject matter jurisdiction. Tex. Ass's of Bus. v. Tex. Air Control Bd., 852 S.W.2d 440, 444 (Tex. 1993); Mazon Assoc., Inc. v. Comerica Bank, 195 S.W.3d 800, 803 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2006, no pet.). As such, it cannot be waived and may be raised for the first time on appeal. Id. When considering the issue of standing for the first time on appeal, we must construe the allegations in the plaintiff's petition in its favor and, if necessary, review the entire record to determine whether any evidence exists to support standing. Id.
Appellants contend Ibrahim lacked standing to sue under the lease because there is some evidence in the record another entity owned the leased premises. Specifically, the lease entered into just before CI Host's lease for the same premises recites a different entity “Prestige Landing” was the landlord and owner of the property. Thus, appellants assert that because Ibrahim did not show the property was transferred to him from Prestige Landing, he did not show he has standing to bring his suit.
Here, Ibrahim did not include allegations of standing in his petition. However, because appellants did not attack Ibrahim's standing in the trial court, we must review the entire record to determine whether any evidence exists to support standing. Id. At trial, Ibrahim testified that he owned the leased premises and that he leased them to CI Host. The lease between Ibrahim and CI Host also states that Ibrahim was the landlord and owner of the property. Thus, reviewing the entire record, there is evidence to show Ibrahim has standing. We overrule appellants' first point of error.
In their second point of error, appellants contend the evidence is legally insufficient to support the trial court's award of damages because the trial court relied upon improperly admitted documentary evidence. Specifically, appellants complain of two pieces of documentary evidence. One of these documents, a $11,144.94 invoice to replace carpet was withdrawn and thus not admitted into evidence. Thus, appellants present no error regarding admission of the $11,144.94 invoice.
The other document appellants complain of, a $658 invoice to clean Ibrahim's yard, was admitted into evidence. Nevertheless, we conclude error, if any, in the admission of the $658 invoice was harmless. To obtain reversal of a judgment based upon the improper admission of evidence, an appellant must show the trial court's ruling was in error and that the error probably caused the rendition of an improper judgment. See Tex. R. App. P. 44.1; Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. v. Malone, 972 S.W.2d 35, 43 (Tex. 1998); Dallas County Sheriff's Dep't v. Gilly, 114 S.W.3d 689, 691 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2003, no pet.).
Here, the trial court awarded Ibrahim $18,498.00 for the cost of repairs to the leased premises. Ibrahim testified to all the damages and particularly testified to the $658 cost to clean the yard. Appellants have made no attempt to show Ibrahim's testimony was insufficient to support the damages award. After reviewing the record, we conclude appellants have failed to show admission of the $658 invoice probably led to an improper judgment. We overrule appellants' second point of error.
We affirm the trial court's judgment.
MICHAEL J. O'NEILL