There were no opinions on today’s orders list, but the Court did work through many of the petitions that had accumulated during its break. Of those, the Court chose five new cases for oral argument and denied the rest.
The Court also reset the argument date for the Whittington takings case until December 6, 2011, at the parties’ request.
Set for December 6, 2011
Larry York d/b/a York Tank Trucks v. State Of Texas and Wise County, Texas, No. 09-0905. Mr. York’s vehicle was taken by the County after a justice-court proceeding — but the judgment was issued during the automatic stay from a bankruptcy petition. He now challenges that judgment as an unlawful taking of his property. A legal question in the case is whether a judgment issued during a stay is “void” or “voidable”, that is, whether it has no effect whatsoever (void) or whether it is the affected party’s responsibility to bring the problem to the court’s attention (voidable).
AHF-Arbors at Huntsville I, LLC And AHF-Arbors at Huntsville II, LLC v. Walker County Appraisal District, No. 10‑0683 and No. 10‑0714. Are these real-estate entities eligible for the property-tax exemption for charitable organizations? A legal question is whether subsidiary corporations (such as these) can inherit the charitable status obtained by their parent corporations or whether they have to earn it on their own.
City of Austin v. Harry M. Whittington, et al., No. 10-0316. [Reset from September 14, 2011]
Set for December 7, 2011
Dr. Erwin Cruz v. Andrews Restoration, Inc. d/b/a Protech Services And Rudy Martinez, No. 10-0995. If you’re a fan of the “statute of frauds,” this might be the rare case for you. One issue is whether to apply Texas’s so-called “main purpose doctrine” (under which, confusingly enough, an oral promise can be enforced if it is for “the promisor’s own benefit” and not for a third party who might need the protection of the statute). Another issue is how the DTPA remedy called “restoration” works. The court of appeals concluded that it worked like the equitable doctrine of rescission, which requires both parties to return what was exchanged so that things are back where they started. The plaintiff here argues that this statutory remedy was meant to protect consumers and thus should not require that property be surrendered back to the defendant.
In re Ascension Martinez, Jr., individually and d/b/a Rbr Real Estate, No. 11-0007. Is mandamus appropriate to stop discovery about a defendant’s net worth? This mandamus petition argues that requiring it to turn over this information is improper unless the plaintiff can first point to sufficient evidence of the kind of conduct that might ever lead to punitive damages.
In re Larry Charles Fuller, No. 11-0018. The question is whether Fuller is entitled to the higher level of wrongful-imprisonment benefits provided by the Texas Legislature in a recent amendment. The Comptroller argues, in part, that Fuller failed to meet the time limits for filing an agency appeal before filing his mandamus petition.