Longacre v. Wylie Independent School District, No. 11833

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtGaston Swofford, Clyde; O'QUINN
Citation467 S.W.2d 502
PartiesDudley B. LONGACRE et al., Appellants, v. WYLIE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, Appellee.
Decision Date05 May 1971
Docket NumberNo. 11833

Page 502

467 S.W.2d 502
Dudley B. LONGACRE et al., Appellants,
v.
WYLIE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, Appellee.
No. 11833.
Court of Civil Appeals of Texas,
Austin.
May 5, 1971.
Rehearing Denied May 26, 1971.

McMahon, Smart, Sprain, Wilson & Camp, Stanley P. Wilson, Abilene, for appellants.

Gaston Swofford, Clyde, J. C. Hinsley, Austin, for appellee.

O'QUINN, Justice.

The issues to be decided in this case are whether the trial court properly overruled pleas of privilege filed by appellants, who were defendants below, and correctly enjoined appellants from prosecuting a suit, involving the same subject matter, which they had filed in Taylor County subsequent to the filing of this suit in Travis County .

Appellants bring five points of error. Under their first four points appellants maintain that the trial court erred in overruling their pleas of privilege to be sued in Taylor County, the county of their residence. Under their fifth and last point appellants urge error in the granting of a temporary injunction restraining them from further prosecution of their suit in Taylor County. Appellee Wylie Independent School District replies to appellants' five points of error under two counter points. The Attorney General, in behalf of the Central Education Agency, a defendant below, has tendered an Amicus curiae brief with two points, numbered 'First' and 'Third', both levelled at the trial court's overruling of appellants' pleas of privilege.

Although appellants pitch their appeal on errors which they contend affect their rights as individuals to be sued in Taylor County, we believe the basic question for our determination is whether the Texas Education Code provides for an appeal

Page 504

from the decision of the State Board of Education to a district court in Travis County. We have concluded that the Code does so provide and that the district court of Travis County, having acquired jurisdiction of the controversy under a prior filing, correctly enjoined appellants from prosecuting the suit they subsequently filed in Taylor County involving the identical subject matter.

Appellants, as owners of property within the Wylie School District, petitioned the County School Trustees of Taylor County in July, 1969, requesting that certain territory be detached from that district and annexed to Abilene Independent School District. The trustees denied the petition on August 18, 1969. Appellants elected, under provisions of Section 17.63, Texas Education Code, V.T.C.A. (effective September 1, 1969, formerly Art. 2686, Vernon's Anno Civ.Stat.), to appeal to the State Commissioner of Education, rather than to 'any court of competent jurisdiction,' pursuant to Section 11.13(a) (formerly Art. 2654--7, sec. 1).

The Commissioner of Education held a hearing on October 8, 1969, and affirmed the Taylor County trustees in their denial of appellants' petition for transfer of the territory. Appellants then appealed to the State Board of Education which heard the matter on March 2, 1970. The State Board reversed the decision of the Commissioner and directed the Taylor County trustees to grant the petition to detach the territory from Wylie district and annex it to the Abilene district.

Aggrieved by this order of the State Board of Education, the Wylie School District appealed from the decision by filing it petition on March 20, 1970, in 'a district court in Travis County.' (Sec. 11.13(c), formerly Art. 2922--19). Wylie district pleaded its right so to appeal under Section 11.13(c) and named as defendant the Central Education Agency. The Central Education Agency filed a plea in abatement alleging lack of necessary parties which was overruled by the court on June 11, 1970.

About three months after this suit was filed in Travis County appellants filed a suit in district court of Taylor County seeking mandamus to require the County School Trustees to grant their original petition to detach territory from Wylie School District and annex it to Abilene district. Appellants named as defendants in that suit individuals alleged to be members of the board of trustees, but did not make the County Board of School Trustees or the Wylie School District parties to the suit. Appellants filed an amended petition on August 28, 1970, by which both the county board and the Wylie district were named parties. The county board filed a plea in abatement setting up the fact that a lawsuit involving the same subject matter had been filed in Travis County prior to institution of the suit in Taylor County. The plea in abatement was overruled October 28, 1970.

Wylie School District in October, 1970, amended and made appellants parties to the suit in Travis County and sought to enjoin appellants from prosecuting their suit in Taylor County. Appellants filed pleas of privilege to be sued in Taylor County.

The trial court in Travis County heard evidence on the pleas of privilege and on Wylie School District's application for temporary injunction. Subsequently, by separate orders, the court overruled the pleas of privilege and enjoined appellants 'from further prosecution' of their suit in Taylor County 'pending final hearing and determination of this cause' in Travis County.

As noted, Wylie School District filed its suit in Travis County as an appeal from the decision of the State Board of Education, naming the Central Education Agency as defendant, and in its petition specifically pleaded the statute which reads:

'Any person, county, or School district aggrieved by any action of the Central Education Agency may appeal to a district

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court in Travis County, Texas. Appeals shall be made by serving the Commissioner of education with citation issued and served in the manner provided by law for civil suits. The petition shall state the action from which the appeal is taken, and If the appeal is from an order of the State Board of Education, shall also Set out the order, or relevant portion thereof. Upon trial the court shall determine all issues of law and fact.' (Emphasis added) Section 11.13(c), Texas Education Code, Title 2, ch. 11.

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2 practice notes
  • Wylie Independent Sch. Dist. v. Central Ed. Agency, No. 11969
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
    • November 29, 1972
    ...before this Court once before on questions of pleas of privilege and temporary injunction. Longacre v. Wylie Independent School District, 467 S.W.2d 502 (Tex.Civ.App., Austin Appellant Wylie Independent School District is located in Taylor County. Abilene Independent School District, a coun......
  • Vaughn v. Burroughs Corp., No. C14-85-0333-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • January 9, 1986
    ...Tex.Educ.Code Ann. (Vernon Supp.1986), and this decision, therefore, became final. See: Longacre v. Wylie Independent School District, 467 S.W.2d 502 (Tex.Civ.App.--Austin 1971, writ ref'd n.r.e.). Appellant then filed a civil rights action against the school district in federal district co......
2 cases
  • Wylie Independent Sch. Dist. v. Central Ed. Agency, No. 11969
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
    • November 29, 1972
    ...before this Court once before on questions of pleas of privilege and temporary injunction. Longacre v. Wylie Independent School District, 467 S.W.2d 502 (Tex.Civ.App., Austin Appellant Wylie Independent School District is located in Taylor County. Abilene Independent School District, a coun......
  • Vaughn v. Burroughs Corp., No. C14-85-0333-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • January 9, 1986
    ...Tex.Educ.Code Ann. (Vernon Supp.1986), and this decision, therefore, became final. See: Longacre v. Wylie Independent School District, 467 S.W.2d 502 (Tex.Civ.App.--Austin 1971, writ ref'd n.r.e.). Appellant then filed a civil rights action against the school district in federal district co......

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