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Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
December 15, 2021, Delivered; December 15, 2021, Filed
[*420] In this original mandamus proceeding, we address whether a construction defect suit primarily seeking monetary compensation based on physical damage or injury to a house is an "[a]ction . . . for recovery of damages to real property," and therefore, falls within the ambit of section 15.011 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a mandatory venue statute. [*421] See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 15.011. The trial court concluded section 15.011 does not apply to such suits and denied the relators' motion to transfer venue. Because we conclude that section 15.011 applies [**2] and that the trial court erred by refusing to transfer venue, we conditionally grant mandamus relief.
The relators2 built a custom house for the real parties in interest. The real parties3 sued the relators for construction defects. The real parties alleged negligence, misrepresentation claims under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act (DTPA), and breach of contract, as well as violations of Chapter 162 of the Texas Property Code for failing to keep account records and improperly managing a trust fund. The real parties sought to recover actual damages, including "the cost of repair, reduction in market value after repair/completion, engineering and consultant fees, temporary housing expenses, out of pocket/mitigation expenses and loss of use damages." The suit was filed in district court in Bexar County.
Under section 15.011, the relators filed a motion to transfer venue to Guadalupe County. The relators argued that the real parties' suit is "for recovery of damages to real property," venue is mandatory in "the county in which all or a part of the property is located," and the house is located in Guadalupe County. See id. The real parties responded that section 15.011 applies only to suits involving title [**3] to or possession of land. The trial court heard and denied the relators' motion, and the relators sought mandamus relief in this court.
Mandamus Review Under Chapter 15 of The Civil Practice and Remedies Code
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
647 S.W.3d 419 *; 2021 Tex. App. LEXIS 9895 **; 2021 WL 5910749
IN RE CUSTOM HOME BUILDERS OF CENTRAL TEXAS INC. D/B/A Owner Managed Homes D/B/A Texas Build at Cost, Travis White, and White House Custom Design & Construction of Texas, Inc. D/B/A Forever Custom Homes, Relators
Prior History: Original Mandamus Proceeding1 [**1] .
Disposition: PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS CONDITIONALLY GRANTED.
real property, damages, venue, predecessor statute, mandatory, real party, real property damage, recovery of damages, cases, suits, venue provision, trial court, monetary compensation, mandamus, physical damage, quiet title, current version, physical injury, includes, part of the property, construction defect, breach of contract, Dictionary, parties, repair, falls, orig
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Writs, Common Law Writs, Mandamus, Preliminary Considerations, Venue, Special Venue, De Novo Review, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Real Property Law, Estates, Transfers, Partition Actions, Title Quality, Adverse Claim Actions, Quiet Title Actions, Individual Defendants, Torts, General Premises Liability, Defenses, Independent Contractors, Present Estates, Leasehold & Real Estates, Procedural Matters, Commencement & Prosecution, Venue