2005 Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code CHAPTER 37. DECLARATORY JUDGMENTS


CIVIL PRACTICE & REMEDIES CODE
CHAPTER 37. DECLARATORY JUDGMENTS
§ 37.001. DEFINITION. In this chapter, "person" means an individual, partnership, joint-stock company, unincorporated association or society, or municipal or other corporation of any character. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.002. SHORT TITLE, CONSTRUCTION, INTERPRETATION. (a) This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act. (b) This chapter is remedial; its purpose is to settle and to afford relief from uncertainty and insecurity with respect to rights, status, and other legal relations; and it is to be liberally construed and administered. (c) This chapter shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states that enact it and to harmonize, as far as possible, with federal laws and regulations on the subject of declaratory judgments and decrees. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.003. POWER OF COURTS TO RENDER JUDGMENT; FORM AND EFFECT. (a) A court of record within its jurisdiction has power to declare rights, status, and other legal relations whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. An action or proceeding is not open to objection on the ground that a declaratory judgment or decree is prayed for. (b) The declaration may be either affirmative or negative in form and effect, and the declaration has the force and effect of a final judgment or decree. (c) The enumerations in Sections 37.004 and 37.005 do not limit or restrict the exercise of the general powers conferred in this section in any proceeding in which declaratory relief is sought and a judgment or decree will terminate the controversy or remove an uncertainty. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.004. SUBJECT MATTER OF RELIEF. (a) A person interested under a deed, will, written contract, or other writings constituting a contract or whose rights, status, or other legal relations are affected by a statute, municipal ordinance, contract, or franchise may have determined any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument, statute, ordinance, contract, or franchise and obtain a declaration of rights, status, or other legal relations thereunder. (b) A contract may be construed either before or after there has been a breach. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.005. DECLARATIONS RELATING TO TRUST OR ESTATE. A person interested as or through an executor or administrator, including an independent executor or administrator, a trustee, guardian, other fiduciary, creditor, devisee, legatee, heir, next of kin, or cestui que trust in the administration of a trust or of the estate of a decedent, an infant, mentally incapacitated person, or insolvent may have a declaration of rights or legal relations in respect to the trust or estate: (1) to ascertain any class of creditors, devisees, legatees, heirs, next of kin, or others; (2) to direct the executors, administrators, or trustees to do or abstain from doing any particular act in their fiduciary capacity; (3) to determine any question arising in the administration of the trust or estate, including questions of construction of wills and other writings; or (4) to determine rights or legal relations of an independent executor or independent administrator regarding fiduciary fees and the settling of accounts. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, § 3.08(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 855, § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. § 37.006. PARTIES. (a) When declaratory relief is sought, all persons who have or claim any interest that would be affected by the declaration must be made parties. A declaration does not prejudice the rights of a person not a party to the proceeding. (b) In any proceeding that involves the validity of a municipal ordinance or franchise, the municipality must be made a party and is entitled to be heard, and if the statute, ordinance, or franchise is alleged to be unconstitutional, the attorney general of the state must also be served with a copy of the proceeding and is entitled to be heard. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.007. JURY TRIAL. If a proceeding under this chapter involves the determination of an issue of fact, the issue may be tried and determined in the same manner as issues of fact are tried and determined in other civil actions in the court in which the proceeding is pending. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.008. COURT REFUSAL TO RENDER. The court may refuse to render or enter a declaratory judgment or decree if the judgment or decree would not terminate the uncertainty or controversy giving rise to the proceeding. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.009. COSTS. In any proceeding under this chapter, the court may award costs and reasonable and necessary attorney's fees as are equitable and just. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.010. REVIEW. All orders, judgments, and decrees under this chapter may be reviewed as other orders, judgments, and decrees. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. § 37.011. SUPPLEMENTAL RELIEF. Further relief based on a declaratory judgment or decree may be granted whenever necessary or proper. The application must be by petition to a court having jurisdiction to grant the relief. If the application is deemed sufficient, the court shall, on reasonable notice, require any adverse party whose rights have been adjudicated by the declaratory judgment or decree to show cause why further relief should not be granted forthwith. Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

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