City of Dallas v. StewartAnnotate this Case
Respondent appealed the Dallas Urban Rehabilitation Standards Board's decision that her house was a nuisance and order of demolition, alleging a due process claim and a claim for an unconstitutional taking. The trial court, on substantial evidence review, affirmed the Board's findings. The court of appeals affirmed but held that the Board's nuisance finding could not be preclusive because of the brief delay between the nuisance finding and the house's demolition. The city petitioned the court for review, arguing that the lower courts erred in failing to give the Board's nuisance determination preclusive effect in respondent's taking claim. The court held that a system that permitted constitutional issues of this importance to be decided by an administrative board, whose decisions were essentially conclusive, did not correctly balance the need to abate nuisances against the rights accorded to property owners under the Texas Constitution. Accordingly, independent court review was a necessity and affirmed the court of appeals but on different grounds.