Appeal from the 506th District Court Waller County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 16-10-23953
consists of Justices Jennings, Higley, and Massengale.
MICHAEL MASSENGALE JUSTICE.
interlocutory appeal, appellant True Blue Animal Rescue, Inc.
challenges the trial court's denial of its application
for a temporary injunction against appellee Waller County.
Because True Blue did not meet its burdens to plead a cause
of action against Waller County and to produce some evidence
establishing a probable right to relief, we affirm the denial
of a temporary injunction.
County seized 34 horses from Kathie Digilio, alleging that
she had treated them cruelly. The horses were placed in the
care of True Blue Animal Rescue, Inc.
the seizure of the horses, Waller County brought divestiture
proceedings against Digilio under Texas Health and Safety
Code Chapter 821, in a Waller County justice court. While the
divestiture proceedings were pending, Waller County and
Digilio entered into an agreement whereby some of the horses
would be returned to her, and she would pay $30, 000 to True
Blue for the care of the horses. The justice court issued an
order in accordance with this agreement.
Blue filed suit against Waller County, complaining that the
justice court's order was improper. In its petition, True
Blue requested that the trial court grant a temporary
injunction against Waller County, enjoining enforcement of
the order. True Blue's petition also included a claim, in
the alternative, for breach of contract against Waller
County. This contract claim stemmed from Waller County's
alleged breach of an agreement between it and True Blue
regarding possession of the horses and payment for their care
trial court issued a temporary restraining order, enjoining
Waller County "from transferring any of the 34 horses
involved in the Digilio seizure . . . so that the status quo
may be observed" and so that True Blue could assert its
"rights regarding the horses and the payment of its
incurred costs of care for the horses." The trial court
granted three extensions of the temporary restraining order.
Following the third extension, the court held a
temporary-injunction hearing. During the hearing, the court
and parties discussed several disputed procedural issues,
including True Blue's standing to sue, whether the State
of Texas should have been the proper defendant instead of
Waller County, and whether mandamus against the justice court
was a more appropriate remedy for True Blue's complaints.
The trial court made an oral "finding" that True
Blue's petition did "not state a claim" that it
could "grant relief on from True Blue's
standpoint." After the hearing, the trial court issued
an order denying the application for a temporary injunction,
without stating its reasons.
Blue has appealed the denial of its application for a
Blue contends that the trial court erred by denying its
application for a temporary injunction. "In general, a
temporary injunction is an extraordinary remedy and does not
issue as a matter of right." Walling v.
Metcalfe, 863 S.W.2d 56, 57 (Tex. 1993). The purpose of
a temporary injunction is to preserve the status quo of the
litigation's subject matter pending a trial on the
merits. Butnaru v. Ford Motor Co., 84 S.W.3d 198,
204 (Tex. 2002). The status quo is "the last, actual,
peaceable, non-contested status which preceded the pending
controversy." In re Newton, 146 S.W.3d 648, 651
(Tex. 2004). To obtain a temporary injunction, the applicant
ordinarily must plead and prove three specific elements: (1)
a cause of action against the defendant; (2) a probable right
to the relief sought; and (3) a probable, imminent, and
irreparable injury in the interim. Butnaru, 84
S.W.3d at 204. With regard to proving a probable right to the
relief sought, the applicant is not required to prove that it
will prevail on final trial. Instead, the only question
before the trial court is whether the applicant is entitled
to preservation of the status quo pending trial. INEOS
Grp. Ltd. v. Chevron Phillips Chem. Co., 312 S.W.3d 843,
848 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, no pet.). The party
applying for a temporary injunction has the burden of
production, which is the burden of offering some evidence
that establishes a probable right to recover. See
Millwrights Local Union No. 2484 v. Rust Eng'g Co.,
433 S.W.2d 683, 685-87 (Tex. 1968); Intercontinental
Terminals Co. v. Vopak N. Am., Inc., 354 S.W.3d 887, 891
(Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2011, no pet.). If an
applicant does not discharge its burden, it is not entitled
to such extraordinary relief. See Millwrights, 433
S.W.2d at 685-87; Intercontinental Terminals, 354
S.W.3d at 891.
decision to grant or deny a temporary injunction lies in the
discretion of the trial court, and the court's ruling is
subject to reversal only for an abuse of that discretion.
INEOS Grp., 312 S.W.3d at 848. A trial court abuses
its discretion in granting or denying a temporary injunction
when it misapplies the law to the established facts.
Id. We review the evidence submitted to the trial
court in the light most favorable to its ruling, drawing all
legitimate inferences from the evidence, and deferring to the
trial court's resolution of conflicting evidence.
Id. Our review is limited to determining whether the
trial court abused its discretion; we do not reach the merits
of the underlying case. Davis v. Huey, 571 S.W.2d
859, 861-62 (Tex. 1978); INEOS Grp., 312 S.W.3d at
848. When, as in this case, no findings of fact or
conclusions of law are filed, the trial court's order
must be upheld on any legal theory supported by the record.
See, e.g., Intercontinental Terminals, 354
S.W.3d at 898.
appeal, True Blue raises several arguments as to why the
district court erred by denying its application for a
temporary injunction. These arguments primarily address
various reasons which True Blue posits the trial court might
have relied upon erroneously to justify denying a temporary
injunction. True Blue also provides arguments regarding why
the justice court's order was incorrect. None of True