Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin
T. Mark Anderson and Christine Anderson, Co-Executors of the Estate of Ted Anderson David B. Archer, Carol Archer Bugg, John V. Archer, Karen Archer Ball, and Sherri Archer Appellants//Cross-Appellants,
David B. Archer, Carol Archer Bugg, John V. Archer, Karen Archer Ball, and Sherri Archer T. Mark Anderson and Christine Anderson, Co-Executors of the Estate of Ted Anderson Appellees//Cross-Appellees,
THE 345TH DISTRICT COURT OF TRAVIS COUNTY NO.
D-1-GN-07-002328 THE HONORABLE ORLINDA NARANJO, JUDGE
Chief Justice Rose, Justices Kelly and Smith
a dispute over fees and costs incurred in a post-judgment
receivership. Following reversal of the judgment in the
underlying tort case, the district court dissolved the
receivership and issued an order requiring each side to pay
approximately half of the fees and costs associated with it.
We will affirm the district court's order.
cross-appeals arise out of a longstanding dispute between the
heirs of John R. Archer and Ted Anderson. The parties are
David B. Archer, Carol Archer Bugg, John V. Archer, Karen
Archer Ball, and Sherri Archer (the Archers), and T. Mark
Anderson and Christine Anderson, co-executors of the estate
of Ted Anderson (the Andersons). In 2007, the Archers sued
Ted Anderson's estate for tortious interference with
inheritance rights. A jury found for the Archers, and the
district court rendered judgment awarding the Archers over
two million dollars in damages. Both parties appealed.
the appeals were pending, the Andersons moved to supersede
the judgment. The district court concluded the Andersons
failed to disclose over a million dollars in estate assets
and denied the motion. Shortly afterward, the district court
signed a turnover order and appointed a receiver to sell the
estate's assets to satisfy the judgment. See
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 31.002(b) (authorizing
courts to grant turnover relief and appoint receiver on
judgment creditor's motion). The receiver's fees and
expenses were payable out of the estate as court costs, and
the Andersons would bear all other expenses associated with
the receivership. Additionally, the district court awarded
the Archers $173, 338.96 in attorney's fees. See
id. § 31.002(e) ("The judgment creditor is
entitled to recover reasonable costs, including
the underlying tort case was on appeal, the district court:
- granted the Archers' motion to sanction T. Mark
Anderson (Mark). Mark was ordered to pay $5, 000 in
attorney's fees and be personally responsible for 50% of
all future receivership costs;
- modified the turnover order and ordered Mark to pay the
Archers an additional $39, 922.75 in attorney's fees; and
- issued monthly orders approving the receiver's requests
for fees and expenses, which totaled $58, 697.64. Each order
required Mark to pay half the sum and the estate the
this Court reversed and rendered judgment that the Archers
take nothing on their tort claim, Anderson v.
Archer, 490 S.W.3d 175, 176 (Tex. App.-Austin 2016), and
the Texas Supreme Court affirmed, Archer v.
Anderson, 556 S.W.3d 228, 230 (Tex. 2018). The Texas
Supreme Court's mandate issued in October 2018. Two
months later, the Andersons wrote to the district clerk
asking her to issue a new bill of cost taxing all fees and
costs related to the receivership against the Archers. In
response, the Archers filed a "Motion to Determine Costs
of Court" asking the district court to confirm that the
Andersons are responsible for all costs associated with the
receivership, including the attorney's fees
award. The Andersons filed a motion to dissolve
considering both motions at an evidentiary hearing, the
district court granted the Andersons' motion to dissolve
the receivership and discharged the receiver. In a separate
order issued a few days later, the district court granted the
Archers' motion to determine costs in part and denied it
in part. The court found that, of the monies requested by the
Andersons, $274, 039.81 were "cost[s] of court
associated with the receivership" and ordered each side
to be responsible for half, i.e., $137, 020. Both sides
appeal from this order.
Andersons contend the district court erred by ordering the
Archers to pay less than the entire disputed sum. In a
cross-appeal, the Archers argue that the district court erred
to the extent it required them to pay any of the costs
associated with the receivership.
receiver's fees and expenses "are considered court
costs and are governed by rules regarding the award of
costs." Hill v. Hill, 460 S.W.3d 751, 767 (Tex.
App.-Dallas 2015, pet. denied). Those rules provide that the
trial court is responsible for adjudicating which party or
parties will pay costs. Diggs v. VSM Fin., L.L.C.,
482 S.W.3d 672, 674 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no
pet.). Once the trial court has made its decision, the clerk
has a ministerial duty to tax costs. Campbell v.
Wilder, 487 S.W.3d 146, 152 (Tex. 2016).
the prevailing party is entitled to recover from its
adversary all costs incurred in the suit. See Tex.
R. Civ. P. 131. However, the trial court may order otherwise
"for good cause, to be stated on the record."
See id. R. 141. The rules of appellate procedure
contain similar provisions for the court of appeals and the
Texas Supreme Court. The judgment of the court of appeals
"should award to the prevailing party costs incurred by
that party related to the appeal," but "[t]he court
of appeals may tax costs otherwise as required by law or for
good cause." Tex.R.App.P. 43.4. The appellate court
clerk then taxes those costs against "the party or
parties against whom costs have been adjudged." See
id. R. 51.1(a). The Texas Supreme Court follows
essentially the same procedure. See id. R. 60.4
(providing that Supreme Court's "judgment will award
to the prevailing party the costs incurred by that party in