Court of Appeals of Texas, Eighth District, El Paso
IN RE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RELATOR
ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN PROHIBITION AND INJUNCTION
McClure, C.J., Rodriguez, and Palafox, JJ.
T. RODRIGUEZ, JUSTICE
Texas Department of Transportation has filed a petition for
writ of prohibition against the Honorable Bonnie Rangel,
Judge of the 171st District Court of El Paso County, Texas.
TxDOT asks that we prohibit Respondent from exercising
jurisdiction over cause number 2018DCV1823, styled Genaro
Flores v. Texas Department of Transportation, because
that proceeding is interfering with this Court's
jurisdiction in a pending appeal. Additionally, TxDOT is
requesting that the Court issue a writ of injunction against
the Real Party in Interest, Genaro Flores. We conditionally
grant the writ of prohibition against the trial court and the
writ of injunction against Flores prohibiting the prosecution
of Flores's suit in cause number 2018DCV1823.
2014, Flores filed an age discrimination suit against TxDOT
in cause number 2014DCV1263, styled Genaro Flores v.
Texas Department of Transportation. A jury found in
Flores's favor and the trial court signed a judgment on
February 15, 2017 awarding Flores money damages and ordering
TxDOT to reinstate him to his position as an assistant
maintenance supervisor within 30 days.
timely filed its notice of appeal on February 27, 2017, and
the appeal is currently pending in this Court in cause number
08-17-00047-CV, styled Texas Department of Transportation
v. Genaro Flores. The filing of the notice of appeal by
TxDOT had the effect of suspending enforcement of the
judgment, including the order to reinstate Flores to his
former position. On May 23, 2017, Flores filed a charge of
discrimination against TxDOT based on its failure to
reinstate Flores. On May 15, 2018, Flores filed a new suit
against TxDOT based on its failure to reinstate him as
required by the judgment entered in cause number 2014DCV1263.
That case is styled Genaro Flores v. Texas Department of
Transportation (cause number 2018DCV1823) and is pending
in the 171st District Court. Flores is proceeding with
discovery in the new suit. TxDOT filed its petition seeking
issuance of the writs of prohibition and injunction to
prohibit the trial court and Flores from proceeding with
cause number 2018DCV1823 during the pendency of the pending
appeal (cause number 08-17-00047-CV).
OF THE SUPERSEDED JUDGMENT
related issues, TxDOT challenges Flores' efforts to
enforce the superseded judgment by filing a new suit. In
Issue One, it argues that the continued prosecution of
Flores's suit in cause number 2018DCV1823 is an
impermissible attempt to enforce the superseded judgment that
is the subject of its appeal in cause number 08-17-00047-CV
and is interfering with the subject matter of the appeal and
our jurisdiction. TxDOT asks the Court to conditionally issue
the writ of prohibition and order the trial court to refrain
from taking any action in cause number 2018DCV1823 during the
pendency of the appeal. In Issue Two, TxDOT contends that the
Court should issue a writ of injunction against Flores to
prevent him from seeking enforcement of the superseded
judgment or prosecuting his claims in cause number
2018DCV1823 until the appeal has been finally resolved.
of appeals has the power to issue all writs necessary to
enforce its jurisdiction. Tex.Gov't Code Ann. §
22.221(a). Its power to grant injunctive relief is limited,
however, to protecting its jurisdiction over the subject
matter of a pending appeal or preventing an unlawful
interference with the enforcement of its judgments and
decrees. Ott v. Bell, 606 S.W.2d 955, 957
(Tex.Civ.App.--Waco 1980, no writ).
of prohibition operates like an injunction issued by a
superior court to control, limit, or prevent action in a
court of inferior jurisdiction. Holloway v. Fifth Court
of Appeals, 767 S.W.2d 680, 682 (Tex. 1989); In re
Cap Rock Energy Corporation, 225 S.W.3d 160
(Tex.App.--El Paso 2005, orig. proceeding). The purpose of
the writ is to enable a superior court to protect and enforce
its jurisdiction and judgments. Holloway, 767 S.W.2d
at 683; Cap Rock, 225 S.W.3d at 160. The writ of
prohibition has three functions: (1) preventing interference
with higher courts in deciding a pending appeal; (2)
preventing an inferior court from entertaining suits which
will relitigate controversies which have already been settled
by issuing courts; and (3) prohibiting a trial court's
action when it affirmatively appears that the court lacks
jurisdiction. In re Johnson, 961 S.W.2d 478, 481
(Tex.App.--Corpus Christi-Edinburg 1997, orig. proceeding);
Texas Capital Bank-Westwood v. Johnson, 864 S.W.2d
186, 187 (Tex.App.--Texarkana 1993, orig. proceeding);
McClelland v. Partida, 818 S.W.2d 453, 456
(Tex.App.--Corpus Christi 1991, orig. proceeding). The writ
is typically used to protect the subject matter of an appeal
or to prohibit an unlawful interference with the enforcement
of a superior court's orders and judgments.
Holloway, 767 S.W.2d at 683. In this case, TxDOT is
seeking to protect the subject matter of the pending appeal
and its right to supersede the judgment.
the Subject Matter of a Pending Appeal
first issue, TxDOT argues that the continued prosecution of
Flores's suit in cause number 2018DCV1823 is an
impermissible effort to enforce the superseded judgment that
is the subject of its appeal in cause number 08-17-00047-CV.
TxDOT asks the Court to conditionally issue the writ of
prohibition and order the trial court to refrain from taking
any action in cause number 2018DCV1823 until the appeal is
24.1 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure addresses the
methods for superseding a judgment, including the filing of a
supersedeas bond. Tex.R.App.P. 24.1(a). Rule 24.2 establishes
the procedures to be followed for determining the amount of
bond, deposit, or security required when the judgment is for
recovery of money, recovery of property, or for something
other than money or an interest in property. See Tex.R.App.P.
24.2(a)(1)-(3). Enforcement of a judgment must be suspended
if the judgment is superseded. Tex.R.App.P.
24.1(f)(addressing effect of ...