Buckeye Ret. Co. v. Bank of Am., N.A

In Buckeye Ret. Co. v. Bank of Am., N.A., 239 S.W.3d 394, 405 (Tex. App.--Dallas 2007, no pet.), the bank garnishee answered the writ of garnishment by stating it had in its possession two safe deposit boxes "possibly" belonging to the debtor. Id. at 398. Ultimately, the trial court determined pursuant to a bench trial the property did not belong to the debtor, and in its final judgment, the court stated each party was responsible for its own fees and costs. Id. at 405 n.3. The bank asserted on appeal that it had prevailed on a contested answer and was entitled to attorney's fees under rule 677. Id. at 405. The creditor responded that the answer was not contested and, even if contested, rule 677 does not provide for the recovery of attorney's fees. Id. The Court concluded the bank's answer that it was in possession of safe deposit boxes "possibly" belonging to debtor created a contested issue. Id. Accordingly, the bank had a right to attorney's fees from the creditor under the third provision of rule 677--the costs shall abide the issue of such contest. Id.