Jackson v. State

Decision Date27 October 1964
Docket NumberNo. 7582,7582
Citation383 S.W.2d 647
PartiesThomas E. JACKSON, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas, Appellee.
CourtTexas Court of Appeals

Fred A. Carver, Beaumont, for appellant.

W. G. Walley, Jr., Beaumont, for appellee.

DAVIS, Justice.

A condemnation case. Appellee sought to condemn .018 of an acre of land situated in Jefferson County. The Special Commissioners awarded the appellant $1100.00 for the land. Appellant accepted the award. Appellee excepted to the award and perfected its appeal to the County Court at law. Trial was to a jury. The appellee offered in evidence, for jurisdictional purposes only, the original statement; the Order of the Judge appointing the Special Commissioner; the Oaths of the Special Commissioners; the certificate of service by U.S. certified mail, which showed no return; the award of the Special Commissioners, and the objections and exceptions of the County Commissioners to the award made in favor of appellant. The State further offered in evidence the fact that the appellant accepted the award of the Commissioners. Appellee did not offer in evidence the Resolution, Order, or Minutes of the State Highway Commission or the Commissioners Court. The appellee did not offer any evidence at all to prove an unsuccessful effort to negotiate the purchase of the property before the condemnation proceedings were commenced. Neither did they actually prove service of notice by the Special Commissioners of the condemnation on the appellant. The burden was on the appellee to make the above proof.

There was no stipulation as to the jurisdiction of the County Court at law, thus the burden of proof between the parties remained consistently on the condemnor. If there had been such a stipulation of jurisdiction, the burden of proof as to the value of the property would have shifted to the condemnee, and he would have the right to open and close the evidence and to open and close the arguments. City of Houston v. Collins, Tex.Civ.App., 310 S.W.2d 697, N.W.H.

Since there was no stipulation of jurisdiction of the County Court at law, the burden of proof was upon the condemnor to demonstrate the right to condemn, and that every step in the new process of law enjoyed by the Constitution and the condemnation statutes had been legally and duly followed, and this must be established before there can be any finding of jurisdiction to entertain the case for hearing. Vey v. City of Ft. Worth, Tex.Civ.App., 81 S.W.2d 228, Writ Dism'd.

According to Art. 1, Sec. 17 of the Texas Constitution, Vernon's Ann.St., 'No person's property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made, * * *'. (Emphasis added.) The requirement that 'adequate' compensation be made for private property is vested upon the Magna Charta. This power is necessary in that it is deemed essential to the life of the State. Imperial Irr. Co. v. Jayne, 104 Tex. 395, 138 S.W. 575.

The appellee, after offering the foregoing evidence, rested. The appellant filed a motion for instructed verdict, setting out the fact that the State had failed to prove an unsuccessful effort to agree with the appellant as to the amount of compensation to be paid for the property in question. And the further fact that the State had failed to prove the right to condemn said...

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1 cases
  • State v. Jackson
    • United States
    • Texas Supreme Court
    • April 7, 1965
    ...less the one dollar nominal damages found by the jury in accordance with the judge's instruction. The Court of Civil Appeals reversed. 383 S.W.2d 647. We reverse the judgment of the Court of Civil Appeals and affirm the judgment of the trial court. The respondent, as defendant in the County......

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