David New v. Lavinia Dumitrache, et al.

David New v. Lavinia Dumitrache, et al.

A general sessions court issued orders of protection for a mother and her child against the mother’s ex-husband, who was the child’s father. Thirty-six days after the final order was entered, the father filed suit in chancery court, essentially seeking to enroll the mother’s and the father’s Texas divorce decree and to appeal the orders of protection. On the mother’s motion, the chancery court dismissed the suit in its entirety for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The mother then moved to alter or amend, seeking an award of attorney’s fees and discretionary costs incurred in defending the action. The chancery court granted the motion and awarded the mother attorney’s fees and costs. On appeal, the father challenges only the award of attorney’s fees. We conclude that the court did possess subject matter jurisdiction to award attorney’s fees. But because the father was not permitted to put on proof concerning the reasonableness of the fees incurred by the mother, we vacate the award of attorney’s fees.

Authoring Judge: 
Judge W. Neal McBrayer
Originating Judge: 
Chancellor JoeDae L. Jenkins
Date Filed: 
Friday, April 12, 2019