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Home » News » Texas Fourth Court of Appeals reverses Trial Court Order and dismisses Ethelvina Felan’s Lawsuit

Texas Fourth Court of Appeals reverses Trial Court Order and dismisses Ethelvina Felan’s Lawsuit

In a judgement handed down on April 11, 2018, the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals stated that,

“[W]e REVERSE the trial court’s order and DISMISS Appellee Ethelvina I. Felan’s underlying lawsuit against Appellants Maverick County, David Saucedo, in his Official Capacity as Maverick County Judge, Teodoro Roy Schmerber, in his Official Capacity as Maverick County Elections Administrator, Jerry Morales, in his Official Capacity as Maverick County Commissioner, Pct. 1, Rosy Cantu, in her Official Capacity as County Commissioner Pct. 2, Pete Venegas, in his Official Capacity as Commissioner Pct. 3, and Roberto Ruiz, in his Official Capacity as Commissioner Pct. 4, for want of jurisdiction.”

In the opinion handed down along with the above judgement, Justice Patricia O. Alvarez, who wrote the opinion for the Court stated that,

“By her own admission, prior to the County’s adoption of the tax rate, Felan knew about the miscalculation and that the temporary injunction was the proper avenue in which to challenge the miscalculation, but she chose not to act. Because Felan failed to comply with section 24.06(g), which was her exclusive remedy for challenging Maverick County’s miscalculation of the rollback tax rate, the trial court was without jurisdiction to hear her claims.”

Thereby the court further stated that,

“Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s order and dismiss Felan’s underlying lawsuit for want of jurisdiction.”

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The judgement finds that Felan knew about the error and did not act to remedy the issue in accordance with Texas Tax Code Section 24.06. She further did not act before October 7, 2016 which was the date that the Maverick County Tax Notices were sent to taxpayers.

According to the facts of the case, on September 29, 2016 the Commissioner’s Court rescinded the 2016 tax rate due to errors found. From that day to October 7, 2016 Ethelvina Felan could have filed an injunction to prevent the collection of taxes but failed to do so until December 22, 2016.

The Fourth Court held that due to her failure to act within the time allotted her lawsuit was dismissed because her request was beyond the jurisdiction of the court and non-compliant with the Texas Tax Code.

Ethelvina Felan has a right to appeal the opinion.

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