Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
the 45th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2017-CI-06465 Honorable Antonia Arteaga, Judge
Sitting: Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice Karen Angelini,
Justice Irene Rios, Justice.
Bryan Marion, Chief Justice
Inc. ("Famsa") appeals the trial court's
judgment confirming an arbitration award issued under Chapter
41A of the Texas Property Tax Code. We affirm the trial
protested the appraisal of its property before the Bexar
County Appraisal Review Board ("ARB"). The ARB
heard Famsa's protest and issued a no-change order.
Pursuant to Chapter 41A of the Property Tax Code, Famsa
elected to appeal the ARB order through binding arbitration.
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts appointed an
arbitrator, and the arbitrator sent a letter to Famsa and
Appellee Bexar Appraisal District (the "District")
advising them of his appointment and detailing the procedures
that would govern the proceeding. Under the heading
"Hearing Procedures, " the letter stated:
The burden of proof shall be on the property owner [Famsa].
The property owner shall have the right to open and close (to
be heard first and last) the evidence and the right to open
and close the argument, if any.
parties agreed to a documents-only hearing. There is no
evidence in the record before us that Famsa raised any
objection to the arbitrator's assignment of the burden of
proof to Famsa.
the hearing, the arbitrator issued an Arbitration
Determination and Award (the "Award"). The Award is
a single-page form stamped with the seal of the Texas
Comptroller of Public Accounts. The Award states the
arbitrator's determination as follows:
Value assigned by the arbitrator . . . $465, 160.00
Dollar difference between value ordered by the appraisal
review board and value determined by arbitrator . . . $0.00
Dollar difference between value provided by property owner
and value determined by arbitrator . . . $264, 351.00
Amount of Arbitrator fee not to exceed 450.00 . . . $450.00
subsequently filed suit in the trial court seeking vacatur of
the arbitrator's valuation determination. Famsa filed a
traditional motion for summary judgment arguing the
arbitrator's assignment of the burden of proof to Famsa
exceeded his powers and was misconduct or willful misbehavior
that prejudiced Famsa's rights. The District filed
traditional and no-evidence motions for summary judgment
seeking confirmation of the Award. After hearing the
parties' motions, the trial court entered an order
granting the District's traditional and no-evidence
motions. This appeal followed.
Awards and ...