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In re Abira Medical Laboratories, LLC

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

February 22, 2018

IN RE ABIRA MEDICAL LABORATORIES, LLC D/B/A GENESIS DIAGNOSTICS, Relator

         ORIGINAL PROCEEDING WRIT OF MANDAMUS County Civil Court at Law No. 4 Harris County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 1080417

          Panel consists of Justices Christopher, Brown, and Wise.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Ken Wise Justice.

         On October 25, 2017, Abira Medical Laboratories, LLC d/b/a Genesis Diagnostics ("Genesis") filed a petition for writ of mandamus in this court. See Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 22.221 (West Supp. 2017); see also Tex. R. App. P. 52. In the petition, Genesis asks this court to compel the Honorable Roberta Lloyd, presiding judge of County Civil Court at Law No. 4 of Harris County, to vacate the following three orders: (1) the September 11, 2017 order granting the plea in intervention of Hologic, Inc.; (2) the September 25, 2017 nunc pro tunc to the September 11, 2017 order granting the plea in intervention of Kingsbridge Holdings, LLC; and (3) the September 25, 2017 order, granting Kingsbridge's motion to direct the receiver to make payments towards Kingsbridge's judgment. We conditionally grant the petition.

         I. Background

         St. Jude Medical SC, Inc. filed an original petition against K & S Consulting, LLC aka and d/b/a K & S Consulting; Westside Surgical Hospital, LLC aka and d/b/a Westside Surgical Hospital; and Omar Kiggundu (collectively, "Westside") on July 20, 2016, and a first amended petition on August 1, 2016. The trial court, County Civil Court at Law No. 4, signed a default judgment in favor of St. Jude against Westside in the amount of $73, 560 on October 14, 2016. The trial court also awarded St. Jude's attorneys $24, 520 in attorneys' fees.

         St. Jude filed an application in the trial court for turnover after judgment and the appointment of a receiver. On April 24, 2017, the trial court appointed a receiver "with the power and authority to take possession of all non-exempt property, real and personal" of Westside.

         On May 3, 2017, Hologic filed a plea in intervention in the underlying post-judgment receivership pending in the trial court. Hologic alleged that it is a judgment lien creditor because it obtained a judgment, on February 2, 2017, against Westside in the amount of $426, 909.80 in the 190th District Court in Harris County.

         On July 10, 2017, Kingsbridge filed its own plea in intervention in the underlying post-judgment receivership. Kingsbridge alleged that it is a judgment lien creditor because it obtained a judgment against Westside in the amount of $606, 639.13 in Lake County, Illinois, on March 14, 2017, which Kingsbridge domesticated in Tarrant County, Texas, on May 1, 2017. On July 20, 2017, Kingsbridge filed a motion to direct the receiver to make payments towards Kingsbridge's judgment.

         On August 2, 2017, Genesis filed a plea in intervention in the underlying post-judgment receivership. Genesis claimed that it had a perfected security interest in certain assets, which has priority over all other judgment creditors.

         Genesis filed a motion to strike Hologic's plea in intervention on August 11, 2017, and a motion to strike Kingsbridge's plea in intervention on August 22, 2017. The trial court signed the order granting Hologic's plea in intervention on September 11, 2017, and signed the nunc pro tunc to the order granting Kingsbridge's plea in intervention on September 25, 2017. The trial court also signed the order granting Kingsbridge's motion to direct the receiver to make payments towards Kingsbridge's judgment after "full satisfaction of the judgment of Intervenor, Hologic, Inc."[1]

         In two issues, Genesis asserts that the orders granting the post-judgment interventions of Hologic and Kingsbridge and the order granting Kingsbridge's motion to direct the receiver to make payments towards Kingsbridge's judgment are void because the trial court (1) had already lost its plenary power before the pleas in interventions were filed; and (2) does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the interventions.

         II. Mandamus Standard of Review

         Generally, a relator seeking mandamus relief must demonstrate that (1) the trial court clearly abused its discretion; and (2) the relator has no adequate remedy by appeal. In re Nat'l Lloyds Ins. Co., 507 S.W.3d 219, 226 (Tex. 2016) (orig. proceeding) (per curiam). A trial court clearly abuses its discretion if it reaches a decision so arbitrary and unreasonable as to amount to a clear and prejudicial error of law or if it clearly fails to analyze the law correctly or apply the law correctly to the facts. In re H.E.B. Grocery Co., L.P., 492 S.W.3d 300, 302-03 (Tex. 2016) (orig. proceeding) (per curiam); In re Cerberus Capital Mgmt., L.P., 164 S.W.3d 379, 382 (Tex. 2005) (orig. proceeding) (per ...


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