Appeal from the 152nd District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2014-29708
consists of Justices Lloyd, Goodman, and Landau.
Russell Lloyd Justice
Mount Vernon United Methodist Church is attempting to appeal
from an order denying its petition to withdraw the excess
proceeds from a property tax foreclosure sale. We affirm the
trial court's judgment.
April 4, 2016, the trial court signed a final judgment
awarding appellees Harris County, Texas, City of Houston,
Houston Independent School District, and Houston Community
College System delinquent taxes and costs concerning real
property belonging to the Peace Community Development
Corporation. The real property was subsequently sold at a tax
sale and the excess proceeds from the tax sale were placed in
the trial court's registry on September 27, 2016. On May
11, 2018, appellant received an assignment of the excess
proceeds from the Peace Community Development Corporation by
and through its Executive Director, Mildred Bright, who was a
named party in the delinquent tax litigation.
September 4, 2018, appellant filed a post-judgment petition
to withdraw excess funds. A copy of the assignment is
attached to the petition. See Tex. Tax Code §
34.04(a). Appellees did not file a response. On September 17,
2018, appellant set the petition for submission without an
oral hearing. On October 11, 2018, the tax master issued a
report recommending that appellant's motion to withdraw
be denied "on the basis of the record." The trial
court denied the petition on October 13, 2018.
filed a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law
and a notice of past due findings of fact and conclusions of
law. The trial court denied appellant's request on
December 10, 2018, and appellant filed its notice of appeal
on December 13, 2018.
Proceeds from Tax Foreclosure Sales
proceeds from tax foreclosure sales are governed by sections
34.03 and 34.04 of the Tax Code. Section 34.04(a) allows any
person to file a "petition in the court that ordered the
seizure or sale setting forth a claim to the excess
proceeds" within two years after the property was sold.
Tex. Tax Code § 34.04(a). The court shall order the
proceeds to be paid to each party that establishes its claim
to the proceeds. See id. § 34.04(c). If no
claimant establishes entitlement to the proceeds within this
period, the "clerk shall distribute the excess proceeds
to each taxing unit participating in the sale in an amount
equal to the proportion its taxes, penalties, and interests
bear to the total amount of taxes, penalties, and interest
due all participants in the sale." Id. §
argue that the court does not have jurisdiction over this
appeal because the order is interlocutory and Tax Code
section 34.04 does not allow appeals from an order denying a
petition for excess proceeds. Appellant argues that the order
is final and appealable and that depriving appellant of an
appeal in this case violates its Equal Protection and Due
Process rights guaranteed by the United States and Texas
specifically authorized by statute, Texas appellate courts
have jurisdiction only to review final judgments. McFadin
v. Broadway Coffeehouse, LLC, 539 S.W.3d 278, 283 (Tex.
2018). A judgment is final for purposes of appeal if it
disposes of all pending parties and claims. Id.
(citing Lehmann v. Har-Con Corp., 39 S.W.3d 191, 195
delinquent property tax proceeding, the final judgment is the
order granting judgment to the taxing units for the unpaid
taxes. See Royal Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Ragsdale, 273
S.W.3d 759, 763-64 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, no
pet.). An order on a petition for distribution of excess
proceeds from a tax foreclosure sale ...