Supreme Court of Texas Decisions 2020

IN RE STATE OF TEXAS (Concurring)
Date: May 27, 2020
Docket Number: 20-0394
IN RE STATE OF TEXAS (Concurring)
Date: May 27, 2020
Docket Number: 20-0394
IN RE STATE OF TEXAS (Concurring)
Date: May 27, 2020
Docket Number: 20-0394
In re State of Texas (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2020
Docket Number: 20-0394

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a lack of immunity to COVID-19, without more, is not a "disability" that renders a voter eligible to vote by mail within the meaning of Tex. Elec. Code Ann. 82.002(a) and declined to issue a w...

University of the Incarnate Word v. Redus (Opinion)  
Date: May 22, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0351

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals holding that the University of the Incarnate Word does not have sovereign immunity when it is sued in connection with its law-enforcement activities, holdin...

Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth v. Episcopal Church (Opinion)  
Date: May 22, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0438

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute over which faction of a splintered Episcopal diocese is the "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the withdrawing faction, ho...

El Paso Education Initiative, Inc. v. Amex Properties, LLC (Opinion)  
Date: May 22, 2020
Docket Number: 18-1167

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that open-enrollment charter schools and their charter-holders have governmental immunity from suit and liability to the same extent as public schools and that, in this case, the open-enrollment ch...

San Antonio River Authority v. Austin Bridge & Road, L.P. (Opinion)  
Date: May 1, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0905

Justia Opinion Summary: In this construction contract dispute, the Supreme Court held that the San Antonio River Authority possessed the authority to agree to arbitrate claims under Texas Local Government Code Chapter 271 and exercised that aut...

Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Hegar (Opinion)  
Date: May 1, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0566

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Lockheed Martin Corporation's receipts from the sales of F-16 fighter jets to the U.S. government were improperly sourced to Texas for purposes of calculating its Texas franchise tax, holding...

Loya Insurance Co. v. Avalos (Opinion)  
Date: May 1, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0837

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving the collusive fraud of an insured and the driver of the other car involved in a car crash the Supreme Court adopted an exception to the eight-corners rule to determine the liability insurer's duty...

Bush v. Lone Oak Club, LLC (Opinion)  
Date: April 24, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0264

Justia Opinion Summary: In this title dispute between the State and a private landowner over portions of the submerged bed of Lone Oak Bayou the Supreme Court reversed the trial court's summary judgment in favor of the landowner, holding that t...

Credit Suisse AG v. Claymore Holdings, LLC (Opinion)  
Date: April 24, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0403

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case arising from an inflated appraisal of certain property and governed by New York law, the Supreme Court reversed in part the court of appeals' decision affirming the jtrial court's judgment awarding Claymore...

Brewer v. Lennox Hearth Products, LLC (Opinion)  
Date: April 24, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0426

Justia Opinion Summary: In this products-liability and wrongful-death suit, the Supreme Court vacated the order of the trial court sanctioning an attorney for commissioning a pretrial survey that commenced in the county of suit shortly before t...

In re Commitment of Gregory Jones (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 24, 2020
Docket Number: 19-0260

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's judgment and commitment order and reinstated the judgment of the trial court ordering Gregory Jones civilly committed as a sexua...

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Zepeda (Opinion)  
Date: April 24, 2020
Docket Number: 19-0712

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court accepted a question certified to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and answered that a lender is entitled to equitable subrogation where it failed to correct a curable const...

In re Greg Abbott (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 23, 2020
Docket Number: 20-0291

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court conditionally granted mandamus relief to the State seeking review of a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking enforcement of Executive Order GA-13, which changes the rules applicable to judges' deci...

Alvarez v. State Farm Lloyds (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 17, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0127

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that an insurer's payment of an appraisal award bars an insured's claim under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (TPPCA), Tex. Ins. Code 542....

Lazos v. State Farm Lloyds (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 17, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0205

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that an insurer's payment of an appraisal award bars an insured's claim under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (TPPCA), Tex. Ins. Code 542....

Morath v. Lewis (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 17, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0555

Justia Opinion Summary: In this complaint alleging ultra vires claims against Mike Morath, in his official capacity as the Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, the Supreme Court granted Respondents' motion to dismiss this appeal as moot,...

Biasatti v. GuideOne National Insurance Co. (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 17, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0911

Justia Opinion Summary: In this insurance dispute over whether an insurer's payment of an appraisal award obtained under a unilateral appraisal clause bars an insured's claims under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (TPPCA), Tex. Ins. Code...

City of Madisonville v. Sims (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 17, 2020
Docket Number: 18-1047

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court granting the City of Madisonville's jurisdictional plea claiming that David Sims' Texas Whistleblower Act claim wa...

Reyes v. Jefferson County (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 17, 2020
Docket Number: 18-1221

Justia Opinion Summary: In this interlocutory appeal involving application of the Texas Tort Claims Act's (TTCA) notice requirement the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court denyin...

Bella Palma, LLC v. Young (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 17, 2020
Docket Number: 19-0204

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's appeal of the trial court's grant of summary judgment for Plaintiff and against Defendants for want of jurisdiction, holding that, co...

Sunstate Equipment Co. v. Hegar (Opinion)  
Date: April 3, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0444

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the Texas Comptroller's audit of Sunstate Equipment, a heavy construction equipment renal company, on the grounds that Sunstate was not entitled t...

Hegar v. American Multi-Cinema, Inc. (Opinion)  
Date: April 3, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0464

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court concluding that Tex. Tax Code 171.1012 permitted a movie theater to subtract exhibition costs as cost of goods sol...

Hegar v. Gulf Copper & Manufacturing Corp. (Opinion)  
Date: April 3, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0894

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute over the amount of franchise tax owed by a taxpayer the Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals reversing in part the trial court's judgment for the taxpayer, holding that, wit...

State v. R.R.S. (Opinion)  
Date: March 27, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0819

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the decision of the trial court denying R.R.S.'s motion to withdraw his plea of "true" to allegations that he sexually assaulted his younger broth...

B.C. v. Stake N Shake Operations, Inc. (Per Curiam)  
Date: March 27, 2020
Docket Number: 17-1008

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding the trial court's grant of summary judgment without addressing its legal merit, holding that the trial court's recital in its final summary judgme...

Farmers Texas County Mutual Insurance Co. v. Beasley (Opinion)  
Date: March 27, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0469

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's judgment granting Defendant's plea to the jurisdiction and dismissing Plaintiff's suit, holding that the court of appeals erred...

North East Independent School District v. Riou (Opinion)  
Date: March 27, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0986

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court reversing the decision of the Commissioner of Education upholding the decision of the North East Independent Schoo...

City of Conroe, Texas v. San Jacinto River Authority (Opinion)  
Date: March 27, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0989

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case concerning the scope of the Expedited Declaratory Judgment Act (EDJA), the Supreme Court held that the EDJA gives the trial court jurisdiction to declare whether the execution of contracts entered into by th...

Orozco v. County of El Paso (Opinion)  
Date: March 20, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0381

Justia Opinion Summary: In this workers' compensation case involving the death of a deputy sheriff who died in a vehicular accident while driving his assigned patrol car the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing...

Richards v. State (Opinion)  
Date: March 20, 2020
Docket Number: 19-0802

Justia Opinion Summary: In this insurance dispute, the Supreme Court answered a question of Texas law in a case certified from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by stating that a "policy-language exception" to the "eight-...

Hillis v. McCall (Opinion)  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: 18-1065

Justia Opinion Summary: In this premises-liability case arising out of a brown recluse spider bite the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals ruling that the property owner failed conclusively to establish the absence of a...

In re Mobile Mini, Inc. (Per Curiam)  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: 18-1200

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court conditionally granted Mobile Mini, Inc.'s petition for writ of mandamus and directed the trial court to vacate its order denying Mobile Mini's motion to designate a responsible third party in a construc...

In re Interest of L.G. (Per Curiam)  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: 19-0488

Justia Opinion Summary: In this termination of parental rights case the Supreme Court granted Father's petition and affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's termination of Father's...

Chalker Energy Partners III, LLC v. Le Norman Operating LLC (Opinion)  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0352

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute over whether an email exchange reflected the meeting of minds required for a contract the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment...

PRSI Trading, LLC v. Harris County, Texas (Opinion)  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0664

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals holding that the federal Foreign-Trade Zones Act's exemption of goods imported from outside the United States and held within a zone for certain purposes fr...

Southwestern Electric Power Co. v. Lynch (Opinion)  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0768

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's judgment concluding that several general easements that Petitioner, an electric company, acquired in 1949 from the prede...

Glenn v. Leal (Per Curiam)  
Date: February 21, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0344

Justia Opinion Summary: In this healthcare liability action, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion for directed verdict and motion for judgment notwi...

Gray v. Skelton (Opinion)  
Date: February 21, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0386

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court dismissing Plaintiff's legal malpractice claim as baseless under Peeler v. Hughes & Luce, 909 S.W.2d 494 (Tex. 199...

Piranha Partners v. Neuhoff (Opinion)  
Date: February 21, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0581

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving a written assignment of an overriding royalty interest in minerals produced from land in Wheeler County the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's j...

Coming Attractions Bridal v. Texas Health Resources (Opinion)  
Date: February 21, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0591

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the corporation alleging a healthcare liability claim against a hospital in this case fell within the Texas Medical Liability Act's definition of "claimant" under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 7...

Bethel v. Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser, P.C. (Opinion)  
Date: February 21, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0595

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that Tex. R. Civ. P. 91a permits dismissal based on an affirmative defense and that the alleged destruction of evidence is an action "taken in co...

Shinogle v. Whitlock (Per Curiam)  
Date: February 21, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0703

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence action, the Supreme Court held that an agreed scheduling order setting expert report deadlines, with no reference to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 128.053(a), did not extend the statutory deadline to ser...

Atrium Medical Center, LP v. Houston Red C LLC (Opinion)  
Date: February 7, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0228

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court enforcing a liquidated damages provision in a contract, holding that the breaching party in this case did not prov...

St. John Missionary Baptist Church v. Flakes (Per Curiam)  
Date: February 7, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0513

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals ruling that, where the trial court granted a motion to dismiss without specifying the ground for its decision, the court of appeals did not have authority t...

Texas Department of Criminal Justice v. Rangel (Opinion)  
Date: February 7, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0721

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals holding that none of the Texas Tort Claims Act's exceptions to a waiver of immunity applied in this case, holding that the riot exception applied and that t...

Teal Trading & Development, LP v. Champee Springs Ranches Property Owners Ass'n (Opinion)  
Date: January 31, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0736

Justia Opinion Summary: In this property dispute between adjoining landowners the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court enforcing an easement, holding that a neighborhood associati...

Energy Transfer Partners, LP v. Enterprise Products Partners, LP (Opinion)  
Date: January 31, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0862

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court concluding that Petitioners (together, ETP) and Respondents (together, Enterprise) had created a partnership to ma...

Copano Energy, LLC v. Bujnoch (Opinion)  
Date: January 31, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0044

Justia Opinion Summary: In this contract dispute, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment for Defendants, holding that, under the statute of frauds, the proffered con...

In re Fox River Real Estate Holdings, Inc. (Opinion)  
Date: January 31, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0913

Justia Opinion Summary: In this venue dispute, the Supreme Court denied a petition for mandamus relief, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in transferring the case to the parties' agreed venue. This case stemmed from a l...

Pruski v. Garcia (Opinion)  
Date: January 31, 2020
Docket Number: 18-0953

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals applying Tex. Agric. Code 143.074 in holding that Plaintiff, the driver on a state highway that collided with an escaped bull in a county with a sto...

Degan v. Board of Trustees of the Dallas Police (Opinion)  
Date: January 31, 2020
Docket Number: 19-0234

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court considered two questions of Texas law certified from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit concerning whether changes made by the Texas Legislature in 2017 to Deferred Retirement Opti...

ConocoPhillips Co. v. Ramirez (Opinion)  
Date: January 24, 2020
Docket Number: 17-0822

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals, holding that a devise of "all...right, title and interest in and to Ranch 'Las Piedras'" referred only to a surface estate by that name, as understood by t...

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