Bankruptcy: Miller v. Bank One, Texas, NA

Information that should and should not be reported where there is a bankruptcy.
David A. Szwak

Bankruptcy: Miller v. Bank One, Texas, NA

Postby David A. Szwak » Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:31 pm

Miller v. Bank One, Texas, N.A.,
Not Reported in S.W.3d, 2001 WL 333617,
Tex.App.-Dallas, Apr 06, 2001

Acting pro se, Thomas V. Miller sued Bank One, Texas, N.A. for defamation. Bank One moved for summary judgment and also moved for sanctions. The trial court granted summary judgment for Bank One and imposed sanctions against Miller. In six points of error, Miller, who is also pro se on appeal, contends the trial court erred in granting summary judgment and awarding sanctions. For reasons that follow, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

BACKGROUND

In May 1999, Miller brought this suit against Bank One in the 15rth Judicial District Court of Grayson County, Texas. Miller alleged Bank One had reported false information about him to credit reporting agencies. Specifically, Miller claimed Bank One falsely reported that on November 30, 1990 it had written off as uncollectible two notes of Miller's. Miller asserted a cause of action for defamation. Bank One moved for summary judgment on grounds that Miller's claim was barred by res judicata and by the statute of limitations. Bank One also moved for sanctions under section 10.004 of the civil practice and remedies code and rule of civil procedure 13.

As summary judgment evidence, Bank One presented Miller's original petition in a suit against Bank One filed in the 59th Judicial District Court of Grayson County in February 1997. In that suit, Miller alleged that shortly after he filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy protection, on November 30, 1990, Bank One wrote off two notes of his without notifying him. Miller asserted numerous causes of action, including negligence and violations of the deceptive trade practices act and the fair credit reporting act. Also attached to Bank One's motion for summary judgment was a judgment from the 59th district court granting summary judgment for Bank One in that suit and an opinion from the Eastland Court of Appeals affirming that judgment.

After a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment for Bank One on Miller's defamation claim. The trial court also granted Bank One's motion for sanctions. Citing section 10.004 of the civil practice and remedies code, the court enjoined Miller from filing any further lawsuit against Bank One, and anyone in privity with Bank One, "directly or indirectly related to or in any way growing out of the facts and events described in the Thomas V. Miller's pleadings [sic] on file in the above styled and numbered cause." Also pursuant to section 10.004, the court ordered Miller to pay Bank One $1500 as attorney's fees. This appeal followed.

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