Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler
from the County Court at Law No. 2 of Henderson County, Texas
consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.
T. Worthen Chief Justice
Catoe appeals the trial court's order dismissing her
claims against Adam Slayter. She presents one issue on
appeal. We affirm.
sued Henderson County and Slayter, a detention officer
employed by Henderson County, alleging that Slayter assaulted
her while she was in custody. In her petition, Catoe alleged
that Slayter was liable for assault, intentional infliction
of emotional distress, and sexual harassment. She further
asserted that the County negligently hired, supervised, or
County moved to dismiss Catoe's claims against Slayter
pursuant to section 101.106(e) of the Texas Civil Practice
and Remedies Code. The trial court granted the motion. The
County then filed a plea to the jurisdiction arguing that the
trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over it
because its immunity had not been waived under the Texas Tort
Claims Act (TTCA). The trial court granted the motion. This
Under the Tort Claims Act
only issue, Catoe contends the trial court erred by
dismissing her claims against Slayter pursuant to section
101.106(e). She urges that the TTCA did not mandate dismissal
because her claims do not fit within the TTCA's limited
waiver of immunity and, therefore, were not brought
"under" the TTCA.
we review a trial court's order on a motion to dismiss
under an abuse of discretion standard. Am. Transitional
Care Ctrs. of Tex., Inc. v. Palacios, 46 S.W.3d 873, 878
(Tex. 2001). However, the proper standard of review is not
necessarily determined by the type of motion to which the
order relates, rather it is determined by the substance of
the issue to be reviewed. Singleton v. Casteel, 267
S.W.3d 547, 550 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, pet.
denied) (citing In re Doe, 19 S.W.3d 249, 253 (Tex.
the County's motion raised an issue of immunity as
conferred by section 101.106 of the Texas Civil Practice and
Remedies Code. See Franka v. Velasquez, 332 S.W.3d
367, 371 n.9 (Tex. 2011) (section 101.106 confers immunity to
employees of governmental units in certain circumstances). If
immunity applies, the trial court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over the case. See Tex. Dep't of Parks
& Wildlife v. Miranda, 133 S.W.3d 217, 224 (Tex.
2004); see also Univ. of Tex. Health Sci. Ctr. at San
Antonio v. Webber-Eells, 327 S.W.3d 233, 240 (Tex.
App.-San Antonio 2010, no pet.) (section 101.106 is a
jurisdictional statute involving waiver of immunity). Subject
matter jurisdiction is a question of law, which we review de
novo. Miranda, 133 S.W.3d at 226. Likewise, we
review matters of statutory construction under a de novo
standard. City of San Antonio v. City of Boerne, 111
S.W.3d 22, 25 (Tex. 2003).
immunity protects political subdivisions of the state,
including counties, from suit and liability. See
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 101.001(3)(B)
(West Supp. 2016). The TTCA provides a limited waiver of
governmental immunity and caps recoverable damages. See
id. § 101.021 (West 2011). In general, the TTCA
waives governmental immunity for liability arising from the
"use of a motor-driven vehicle or motor-driven
equipment" or "a condition or use of tangible
personal or real property." Id. The TTCA does
not apply to a claim ...