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://www.tml.org/DocumentCenter/View/1360/AmicusBriefUpdate_101619.
Contractual Immunity: City of Tyler v. Owens, Cause No. 19-0733 in the Texas Supreme Court. TML, TCAA, City of Garland, and City of Dallas filed an amicus brief in support of the City of Tyler. This case is about contractual immunity for the city in issuing a permit for construction of a boathouse. The city leased property to individuals for homes on the lakefront but retained ownership of the lake and the land under the lake. The Tyler Court of Appeals found the city waived its immunity when issuing the permit for the boathouse because it acted in its proprietary capacity when entering into the leases under Wasson II. The city filed a petition for review. TML, TCAA, City of Garland, and City of Dallas, as amici curiae, urged the Court to grant the petition for review to clarify Wasson II. Amici argued the facts of the case show there was no breach of contract; the trial court made that finding. The issuance of the permit for the boathouse did not breach the contract. Therefore, Wasson II should not apply to this case. Wasson II should only apply when there is a valid claim for breach of contract. The letter was filed on September 26, 2019.
Non-Annexation Agreements: Comanche Peak Ranch, LLC v. City of Granbury, Cause No. C2019200 in the 355th Judicial District Court, Hood County, Texas. This case involves several annexations that were “grandfathered” by H.B. 347. The city moved forward under plan-exempt annexation procedures to bring in several properties. Some of the properties are ag-exempt and, thus, the city offered the required “non-annexation agreement” to those owners. The owners claim that the agreements offered by the city have impermissible terms and conditions, including among others the 10-year term of the agreement. TML and TCAA, as amici curiae, offered the court a history of the requirement to offer such an agreement. In addition, amici explained the process step-by-step to refute the plaintiffs’ claims. The letter was filed on September 25, 2019.