Montenegro v. Avila

365 S.W.3d 822 (2012)

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Montenegro v. Avila

Texas Court of Appeals
365 S.W.3d 822 (2012)

Facts

Avila (plaintiff) and Montenegro (defendant) met in November 2003 on a dating site. Avila later learned that Montenegro lived in Bogota, Colombia, rather than in Miami, Florida, like he claimed. Montenegro and Avila decided to meet in Juarez, Mexico, in June 2004. In November 2004, Montenegro and Avila entered an engagement after Avila visited Montenegro in Colombia. At Montenegro’s insistence, Avila filed for a fiancé visa for Montenegro, and Montenegro moved to Texas to live with Avila. On September 3, 2005, Avila and Montenegro married in Texas. Montenegro immediately filed for a two-year conditional residency card. After their marriage, Avila worked and added Montenegro to her bank accounts. Montenegro started withdrawing money out of Avila’s accounts without her consent. Avila later testified that Montenegro often rejected her sexual advances and only had sexual intercourse with her using birth control, despite her desire to have children. Montenegro testified that he obtained a job in 2006 and reported to his employer that Avila was physically, verbally, and sexually abusing him. In December 2007, Montenegro received his permanent green card and began withdrawing from Avila. On February 12, 2008, Avila overheard Montenegro telling his mother that he was leaving her; when she returned from work later that day, she discovered Montenegro had taken all his belongings to another city. Montenegro confirmed to Avila that he had left her. In February 2008, Avila filed for an annulment, and Montenegro filed a counterpetition seeking a divorce. In October 2010, the trial court granted an annulment of the marriage based on Montenegro’s fraud. Montenegro appealed to the Texas Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rivera, J.)

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