2019 American Music Awards

Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling in Favor of Selena's Father Versus Chris Perez

Matt Petit/Getty Images for MAC Cosmetics
Chris Perez during a press conference before the MAC Selena World Premiere at American Bank Center on Sept. 29, 2016 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Thirteenth Court of Appeals, located in Corpus Christi, Texas, has affirmed a trial court decision in the case pitting Selena Quintanilla's father Abraham Quintanilla Jr., versus the singer's widower, Chris Perez.

On Dec. 2, 2016, Quintanilla Jr. filed a petition seeking a judicial declaration that Perez violated a previous agreement by publishing his 2012 book To Selena, With Love. Selena's father further stated that Perez should not be able to enter into a contract with Enemol Latino, the production company that wants to produce a TV series based on the book.

The agreement, drafted shortly after Selena's death in 1995 and signed by her mother, Marcella Quintanilla, Abraham Quintanilla, III (AB), and Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga, gives Quintanila Jr. all proprietary rights in the name, voice, signature, photograph, and likeness of Selena.   

After Perez appealed Quintanilla Jr.'s 2016 petition, a trial in the District Court of Nueces County, Texas denied his motion to dismiss. Perez claimed that the trial court erred by denying his motion to dismiss because the court did not establish the applicability of the Texas Citizens Participation Act, and that Quintanilla did not provide clear and specific evidence for each element of his claims.   

In a court filing obtained by Billboard, Perez states that he signed the 1995 agreement "under duress and was fraudulently induced," adding that Quintanilla Jr. waved his claim "entirely" by allowing the book's publication without suggesting that it violated the earlier agreement. The court, however, disagreed and ruled that the "mere acquiescence to the publishing of the book here does not 'clearly indicate' an intent to waive all claims regarding his rights under the agreement."


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