by JoAnn Storey, JoAnn Storey, P.C.

Findings of fact recited in the judgment may be accorded probative value if the record contains no other findings of fact. Referente v. City View Courtyard, L.P., 477 S.W.3d 882, 885 n.1 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet.); see also James J. Flanagan Shipping Corp. v. Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc., 403 S.W.3d 360, 364 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, no pet.). 

In Flanagan Shipping, the only findings of fact were recited in the trial court’s judgment. The appellee argued on appeal that the court should ignore the trial court’s findings and apply the well-settled rule that, in the absence of findings, all findings in favor of the trial court’s judgment are implied. The court rejected that argument, holding that the findings in the judgment had probative value. The court reasoned that, because the record contained no other findings of fact, there was nothing with which the trial court’s findings could conflict. 

 Flanagan’s reasoning is soundly based on these authorities: 

  • Gonzalez v. Razi, 338 S.W.3d 167, 175 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, pet. denied) (quoting In re Sigmar, 270 S.W.3d 289, 295 n.2 (Tex. App.—Waco 2008, orig. proceeding) (“[F]indings of fact recited in an order or judgment will be accorded probative value so long as they are not in conflict with findings recited in a separate document.”);  
  • In re C.A.B., 289 S.W.3d 874, 881 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, no pet.) (“[t]he mere inclusion of findings in a judgment does not mean the findings have no effect” and “findings improperly included in a judgment still have probative value and are valid as findings”);  
  • Hill v. Hill, 971 S.W.2d 153, 157 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 1998, no pet.) (recognizing that “findings contained in a judgment (contrary to Rule 299a) are not shorn of all authority” but “only to the extent they conflict” with findings made in a separate document) (emphasis in original).