TCAA/TML Legal Defense Program: Amicus Briefs and Comments Filed

TCAA, in conjunction with the Texas Municipal League, files amicus briefs and comments in support of cities on many issues. To keep up to date on the status of these issues, go to:
https://tx-texasmunicipalleague.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/1141/AmicusBriefUpdate_041619 .

No-Evidence Summary Judgment Motions: Town of Shady Shores v. Swanson, No. 18-0413 in the Texas Supreme Court.  TML joined the Texas City Attorneys Association, Texas Association of Counties, Texas Association of School Boards, and the City of Arlington to argue that the Second Court of Appeals erred when it adopted a new rule prohibiting the use of no-evidence motions for summary judgment as procedural tools to challenge a plaintiff’s jurisdictional allegations.

The procedural issue regarding the use of no-evidence motions to challenge jurisdictional allegations has been resolved in a 6-4 split in the intermediate courts of appeals. At least six intermediate courts of appeals have allowed appeals where defendants challenged jurisdictional allegations with no evidence motions. However, a different four intermediate appellate courts have barred the use of no-evidence motions as procedural tools to challenge jurisdictional allegations. There is a clear (and growing) conflict among the intermediate appellate courts on the precise issue presented.

The brief of amici curiae argues that governmental entities are not prohibited from using no-evidence motions for summary judgment as procedural vehicles to challenge a plaintiff’s jurisdictional allegations when: (1) the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing a waiver of governmental immunity; and (2) when the plaintiff has had adequate time for discovery. In addition, it argues that a governmental entity is entitled to an interlocutory appeal from the denial of a no-evidence motion for summary judgment challenging a jurisdictionally required element of plaintiff’s claim.  The brief was filed on April 5, 2019.

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