An appellee bears the burden of proving that an appellant is estopped from challenging the judgment by appeal under the acceptance-of-benefits doctrine. When the doctrine applies, an appeal is rendered moot and the appeal should be dismissed. The doctrine does not apply when (1) acceptance of the benefits is because of financial duress or other economic circumstances, or (2) the reversal of the judgment on the grounds appealed cannot possibly affect an appellant’s right to the benefits accepted under the judgment. The appellant bears the burden to prove an exception applies. Here, the wife was awarded the 2005 Lexus and the husband was ordered to pay the car note on the Lexus. The wife tried to appeal the division of community property but during the appeal she sued her ex-husband in justice of the peace court claiming he had “sold her the car” but failed to pay for it. The wife’s appeal was dismissed because of the acceptance-of-benefits doctrine after a very detailed discussion of whether she had proven economic necessity.
F.M.G.W. v. D.S.W., 08-11-00365-CV (Tex. App. – El Paso 5/22/2-13)