Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, November 8, 1999
Moores fight with bank over cattle round-up
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Nov. 8, 1999 - Roundup on the Moore Ranch that began Friday
is not a happy time for either the longtime ranching family or for the
bank that kept them in business through the hard times.
First National Bank holds mortgages totaling almost $2.5 million the
Moore's land and cattle, and they initiated the roundup to recoup some
of their money.
"Moore has failed and refused and continues to fail and refuse to pay
the Ranch Note as renewed and extended," claimed the bank in a court action
filed Oct. 12 in 143rd District Court.
First National had posted notice of foreclosure on the land, known as
the Banky Stocks Ranch, in August, but withdrew it in favor of negotiations.
They re-posted the sale for September, and Moore sought an injunction to
stop the sale. Judge Bob Parks granted a temporary restraining order, which
delayed but did stop the sale.
However, the Moore ranch was not among foreclosed properties sold on
the courthouse steps Tuesday.
"The bank didn't go ahead and foreclose, because I think they see some
real problems," said R. Byrn Bass Jr., the Moore's attorney.
Bass said the notes are all part of the same package, and that First
National was rounding up the cattle
Moore had alleged in his amended petition that sale of the cattle while
the market is low would, in effect, put the ranch out of business.
"We think the Moores have been terribly wronged by the bank, and we
look forward to telling the whole story in court," Bass said. "This is
a story about a bank abandoning a longtime and good customer."
In his original petition, Moore said he has been a director of the bank,
which "for years embarked on and adopted a course of conduct with regard
to the Moore indebtedness of renewing and extending unpaid notes as they
come due in exchange for the payment of interest and on occasion, a principal
"That, the Moores have offered to do with regard to the note. The bank
has now obviously refused to renew this particular note on those terms."
All parties knew when the loan was negotiated that the Moores would
be unable to pay the note when it came due or any time soon thereafter,
the petition alleges. He further said that the bank had no legal claim
on the Stocks Ranch leased land.
In their answer, First National alleges that Moore fraudulently induced
the bank to participate in the exchange of the Davis Mountain Ranch collateral
for the Stocks Ranch collateral, as a part of his family's personal financial
"Moore intended to reduce the bank's collateral by renewing the Stocks
Ranch lease lands in his individual name and attempting to remove the collateral
from the lien granted to the bank by the partnership," the petition claims.
"Moore was a director of the bank at the time he renewed the leases
in his own name, and knew that such action would diminish the bank's collateral
for his loans at the bank. Moore should be stopped from asserting that
the bank has no lien on the Stocks Ranch lease lands by virtue of his fraudulent
conduct while a director of the bank," the petition continues.
Making their own counterclaim, FNB claims that prior to Aug. 15, 1997,
the bank held liens under three deeds of trust from John M. Moore on the
Davis Mountain Ranch in Jeff Davis County to secure a $1.25 million loan.
In the early summer of 1997, Moore advised the bank for the first time
that the ranch had been assigned by him to the partnership in 1994, and
he wished to participate in a tax free exchange of the Davis Mountain Ranch
for the Stocks Ranch in Culberson, Jeff Davis and Reeves Counties.
The bank accepted a deed of trust on the Stocks Ranch as partial security
of the ranch note. When that note became due in 1998, it was extended until
April 20, 1999.
"Unknown to the bank at the time of the renewal of the ranch note, Moore
had renewed the lease lands of the Stocks Ranch in his own name, and not
in the partnership, Jan. 1, 1998. Moore now claims he has defeated the
bank's lien by his renewal of the leases outside of the partnership, thus
removing the lease lands from the deed of trust," First National alleges.
The agricultural notes are of varying dates and are secured by agricultural
security agreements pledging livestock as security. All of the notes have
matured, according to the petition.
The bank made formal written demand on all notes June 25, and Moore
has not paid them.
Moore breached his fiduciary duty as a director of the bank by purporting
to renew the Stocks Ranch leashold estate in his individual name, rather
than the partnership, the bank claims.
"Moore knew that his actions to defeat the lien of the bank were fraudulent
and would result in damage to the bank," the petition alleges.
First National Bank seeks a judgment against Moore for the principal
and interest due on the notes; that the family partnership defend its title
to the Stocks Ranch leasehold estate; foreclosing the bank's lien on the
Stocks Ranch real property, both fee and leasehold estates, and ordering
a sale thereof with proceeds to be applied to the amount owed to the bank.
C. Medford Owen Jr. of Midland represents First National and its president,
Bass said the matter probably would go to trial in Pecos.
Council votes for mediation of water fight
PECOS, Nov. 8, 1999 - Town of Pecos City Council on Friday voted to hire
a mediator to work out water rates with Reeves County for service at the
Reeves County Detention Center.
The center lies outside the city limits, on the southwest edge of Pecos.
Water rates are normally much higher there than inside the city limits,
but the city gave Reeves County a discount when the prison opened in the
A recent water rate hike would run costs for the prison into the thousands
of dollars each month, said Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens. The county
is currently building a 1,000 bed addition to the 1,000 bed facility.
Reeves County Commissioners have discussed the matter numerous times
in executive session, citing possible litigation with the city.
Visiting judge makes long trip for naught
PECOS, Nov. 8, 1999 - Two visiting judges made it in from New Orleans to
U.S. District Court in Pecos today, but two defendants in a criminal case
failed to show up for the start of their trial this morning.
Juan Oliveros-Munoz, Raul Betancourt-Lara and Javier Vera-Munoz were
scheduled to go on trial on charges of transporting illegal aliens, before
visiting judge Peter Beer of New Orleans. But Betancourt-Lara and Vera-Munoz,
both of whom were out on bond, didn't make it into court this morning and
warrants were issued for their arrests.
Oliveros-Munoz did appear in court today, and the trial began as scheduled,
with Bentancourt-Lara and Vera-Munoz tried in absentia.
Judge Beer is scheduled to conduct three more trials this week in Pecos
federal court. George Guzman will go on trial Tuesday on two counts, conspiracy
and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, while Nicole LeAn Meek
will go on trial Wednesday on one count of marijuana possession with intent
to distribute. Meek is currently out on bond while Guzman is being held
in the Ward County Jail in Monahans.
The final trial is scheduled for Thursday. Ruben Alarcon Pinon, Llama
Edmidia Alarcon and Sergio Alarcon-Lopez are charged with conspiracy, possession
of marijuana and use of a minor to avoid detection. Alarcon-Lopez in currently
in jail in Monahans, while Pinon and Alarcon are out on bond.
The other visiting senior judge from New Orleans, Judge Adrian Duplantier,
is presiding over a civil suit that began this morning and is expected
to last several days; William Hopkins, et al vs. Rohn Products, Inc. Dick
Holland, Roddy Harrison and James Boldrick are representing Hopkins, while
attorneys Dan Griffis, Robert Scogins and Jon Mark Hogg are representing
Husband of former winner takes chili title
TERLINGUA (AP) — The chili was hot but the competition was hotter.
A record number of contestants took part in the 33rd annual International
Chili Competition in Terlingua Saturday.
The chili chefs, 307 in all, entered chilis with such names as "Doc's
Backbone Chili," "Baby's Brew" and "Maverick Chili," but an Irving man
walked away with the grand prize for the most savory bowl.
Bob Coats, who works for a moving company, won the Chili Appreciation
Society International championship. His wife, Doris, won in 1991, making
the Coats the first husband and wife in the history of the chili cook-offs
each to have been awarded first place.
It was also a big day for Bonnie Walstrom of Ft. Washington, Md. The
former Bonnie Hobson married Charlie Walstrom on the cook-off's main stage.
The chili competition started in Terlingua in 1967. The first cook-off
was a publicity stunt that pitted Wick Fowler, an Austin journalist and
originator of the Two Alarm Chili spice mix, against H. Allen Smith, a
noted humorist and author.
Terlingua is 165 miles south of Pecos in the Big Bend.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Saturday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 2, 8, 15, 42, 47, 48. Estimated jackpot: $14 million. Number
matching six of six: none. Matching five of six: 117. Prize: $1,430. Matching
four of six: 5,271. Prize: $114.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Cash 5 numbers drawn Friday by the Texas Lottery:
8-12-30-32-34 (eight, twelve, thirty, thirty-two, thirty-four)
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Texas Million numbers drawn Friday by the
Texas Lottery, in order: 26-38-61-72 (twenty-six, thirty-eight, sixty-one,
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Friday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 6-2-9 (six, two, nine)
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Saturday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 7-8-6 (seven, eight, six)
PECOS, Nov. 8, 1999 - High Sunday 79. Low this morning 47. Forecast for
tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the upper 40s. South wind 5-10 mph. Tuesday:
Partly cloudy. High in the mid 70s. South to southwest wind 10-20 mph.
Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Low
in the mid 40s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise