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Civil Litigation No. 03-02-00475-CV, 5/8/2003. Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS: The appellant, Hays County, appeals a district court judgment granting the appellee, Hays County Water Planning Partnership, an injunction and attorney’s fees against the county. The district court found that Hays County violated: 1. ��551.002 and 551.102 of the Texas Government Code (the Open Meetings Act); and 2. provisions of the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Local Government Code. The present dispute began on May 16, 2000, when the Hays County Commissioners Court met and voted to approve the 2025 Transportation Plan for submission to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. On May 25, the partnership sued Hays County, alleging that the commissioners court had violated the Open Meetings Act by privately altering the plan. On May 30, the commissioners court met again. The commissioners heard public testimony and concluded the meeting by formally approving an altered version of the plan that Commissioner Burnett had originally delivered to CAMPO. The plan adopted at the May 30 meeting replaced the earlier plan and is now on file with CAMPO. HOLDING: The court reverses the district court’s judgment to the extent that it finds that Hays County violated the Open Meetings Act and the Open Courts provision of the Texas Constitution and render judgment that the partnership take nothing against the county by such claims. We dissolve the injunction against the county. The partnership alleges that a single commissioner and an employee altered the May 16 Blue Ribbon Committee’s map in a manner not in accordance with the May 16 commissioners court action and that commissioner Burnett delivered the improperly “staff altered” map to CAMPO. However, the interaction of commissioner Burnett and the Hays County employee was not a “meeting” because a quorum of commissioners was not present. For there to have been a violation of the Open Meetings Act, a meeting must have occurred. The court declines to hold that the action of a single commissioner constitutes a violation of the Open Meetings Act To ensure that courts do not issue advisory opinions, there must be a justiciable controversy. When seeking a declaratory judgment, the plaintiff must allege facts that demonstrate a real dispute involving an immediate, concrete outcome – that is, a justiciable controversy must exist as to the rights and status of the parties and the controversy must be resolved by the declaration sought. Bonham State Bank v. Beadle, 907 S.W.2d 465 (Tex. 1995). In this case, the partnership sued Hays County, alleging that the Hays County Commissioners Court violated the constitution, the government code, and the local government code by submitting an invalid plan to CAMPO. The district court remedied that injury by enjoining the Hays County Commissioners Court from ever using the invalid plan. A specific injury was remedied by a specific order. The court holds that there is a justiciable controversy in this case. Although the commissioners court has since adopted a new plan and has filed that plan with CAMPO, its action does not moot the partnership’s declaratory judgment action nor its ancillary claim for injunctive relief. Because the “staff altered” map is invalid, enjoining the county from its use is unnecessary. The UDJA allows for injunctive relief ancillary to a declaration of rights in some situations. This power to grant relief is conditioned on such relief being necessary and proper. In this case, the Hays County Commissioners Court validly passed a new 2025 Transportation Plan at its May 30 meeting and filed it with CAMPO. There is no indication that the commissioners court intends to use the earlier invalid map. The court concludes that the permanent injunction is unnecessary and should be dissolved. OPINION: Yeakel, J.; Kidd, Yeakel and Patterson, JJ.

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