Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hall v. City of Baryan

Court of Appeals of Texas, Tenth District

January 3, 2018

KAREN HALL, Appellant
v.
CITY OF BRYAN, TEXAS, Appellee

         From the 272nd District Court Brazos County, Texas Trial Court No. 12-000391-CV-272

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          TOM GRAY, Chief Justice

         Karen Hall sued the City of Bryan for disannexation of property annexed by the City. This was the third time she sued for disannexation. Because the trial court did not err in granting the City's motion for summary judgment and denying Hall's summary judgment, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

         Procedural Background

         On July 17, 1999, the City of Bryan adopted an ordinance annexing part of Karen Hall's property. In 2004, she filed suit seeking disannexation. The trial court granted the City's motion for summary judgment, and Hall appealed. We affirmed the trial court's judgment in 2006, stating that "the city conclusively proved that it had complied with the service plan as written." Hall v. City of Bryan, No. 10-05-00417-CV, 2006 Tex.App. LEXIS 10280, *6 (Tex. App.-Waco Nov. 29, 2006, pet. denied) (mem. op.) (Hall I). We also determined that section 43.141(b) of the Texas Local Government Code permitted disannexation only for a city's failure "to perform its obligations in accordance with the service plan; not for failure to comply with, for example, the statutory requirements of a service plan. Id. at *7.

         In 2010, Hall again sued the City for disannexation. The trial court granted the City's plea to the jurisdiction, and if it had any jurisdiction, the trial court granted the City's motion for summary judgment. We affirmed the trial court's judgment as to the City's plea to the jurisdiction stating that Hall's complaints in her petition about misrepresentations made by the City at public hearings regarding the services to be provided were attacks on the validity of the annexation process, and Hall had no standing to proceed. Hall v. City of Bryan, No. 10-10-00403-CV, 2011 Tex.App. LEXIS 8038, *8-9 (Tex. App.-Waco Oct. 5, 2011, pet. denied) (mem. op.) (Hall II). We did not review Hall's issues regarding the City's motion for summary judgment.

         In 2012, Hall sued the City a third time for disannexation. The City again filed a plea to the jurisdiction and a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted the plea to the jurisdiction but did not rule on the motion for summary judgment. We affirmed the trial court's judgment granting the City's plea to the jurisdiction and dismissing Hall's suit as to Hall's standing to seek disannexation based on her claim that the City failed to provide full municipal services "in good faith, " independent of the service plan and that the annexed area did not have sewer paid by tax dollars, fire hydrants, water on both sides of Highway 21, and waterlines capable of supporting fire hydrants. Hall v. City of Bryan, 2014 Tex.App. LEXIS 8071 *18-19 (Tex. App.-Waco July 24, 2014, no pet.) (mem. op.) (Hall III). We determined that there was no separate duty by a city to provide full municipal services "in good faith" beyond those specified in the service plan. Id. at *9. We also determined that the service plan at issue did not include provisions for sewer paid by tax dollars, fire hydrants, water on both sides of the highway, or waterlines capable of supporting fire hydrants. Id. *12. However, we reversed the trial court's judgment granting the City's plea to the jurisdiction and dismissing Hall's suit as to Hall's standing to seek disannexation based on her claim that the City lacked adequate police patrols, and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings. Id. at *19.

         Law of the Case

         Initially, we must determine what issues are here for our review.

         Two days after our mandate issued in Hall III, Hall amended her 2012 petition for disannexation. Hall asserts in her amended petition that it is "limited to the City's failure to provide, in good faith or under its service plan, specific municipal services" to the annexed area. Specifically, she contends in the petition that the annexed area has not been provided "sanitary sewer, [1] fire suppression with hydrants, a water line capable of supporting fire hydrants, and regular and routine preventative police patrols."

         These allegations are no different than what was alleged in her first amended petition which we reviewed in Hall III. As explained, all of her claims except for her claim regarding routine police patrols were dismissed by the trial court for lack of standing and that decision was affirmed by this Court. Those claims were finally decided against Hall and have become the "law of the case."

         Under the law of the case doctrine, a decision rendered in a former appeal of a case is generally binding in a later appeal of the same case. Paradigm Oil, Inc. v. Retamco Operating, Inc., 372 S.W.3d 177, 182 (Tex. 2012). By narrowing the issues in successive stages of the litigation, the law of the case doctrine is intended to achieve uniformity of decision as well as judicial economy and efficiency. Hudson v. Wakefield, 711 S.W.2d 628, 630 (Tex. 1986). The doctrine is based on public policy and is aimed at putting an end to litigation. Id.

         In Hall III, we said the service plan at issue did not include provisions for sewer paid by tax dollars, fire hydrants, water on both sides of the highway, or waterlines capable of supporting fire hydrants; and we affirmed the trial court's dismissal of those claims. Hall v. City of Bryan, 2014 Tex.App. LEXIS 8071 *12, 18 (Tex. App.-Waco July 24, 2014, no pet.) (mem. op.). Hall contends we stated in Hall III that she could raise additional claims on remand. She is correct. Id. at n. 5 ("…our holding does not necessarily mean there are no other claims that Hall can pursue in this proceeding by amending her petition." (emphasis added)). However, Hall did not raise "other claims." Rather, she merely altered the language in her second amended petition somewhat and raised the same claims that were in her 2012 petition which we had already reviewed.[2]

         Accordingly, due to the law of the case doctrine, we will not revisit or review any claim made by Hall in this appeal regarding sanitary sewers, fire suppression with hydrants, or a water line capable of supporting fire hydrants.[3] Therefore, the only reviewable claim made by Hall is the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.