Chapa v. Traciers & Associates

In Chapa v. Traciers & Associates, 267 S.W.3d 386 (Tex. App.--Houston 14th Dist 2008, no pet.), the vehicle being repossessed was parked on a public street when the recovery agent hooked it up to his tow truck, while remaining in his truck, and drove away. Id. at 389. The recovery agent had towed the vehicle out of sight of the premises when he noticed the towed vehicle's engine running. Id. After he discovered Chapa's two children inside the vehicle being towed, the agent immediately drove back to Chapa's home and returned the vehicle and the children. Id. at 389; 393. In affirming the trial court's take-nothing summary judgment in favor of the defendants, the appeals court concluded that no breach of the peace occurred because, among other things, the recovery agent had removed the vehicle from a public street without confrontation or objection at, near, or incident to the seizure of property and without trespassing on Chapa's premises. Id. at 394. Instead, he actively avoided confrontation and immediately desisted repossession efforts and returned the children upon learning of their presence. Id. at 395.