Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In this case, the petitioner, John Simpson, raised several issues in the court of appeals and in this court. The court of appeals dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction, concluding that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Simpson’s action because he failed to join all property owners in his subdivision in his underlying declaratory judgment action. Kettering Oaks is a Harris Country subdivision consisting of 59 residential lots restricted by an untitled document filed in 1953. The original restrictions did not provide for a mandatory homeowners’ association. In June 1999, pursuant to Chapter 204 of the Texas Property Code, Afton Oaks sought to create a mandatory property owners’ association with mandatory assessments and membership requirements. Afton Oaks, following the procedures set forth in Chapter 204, established a petitioning committee and circulated a petition. In May 2000, Afton Oaks filed the petition (which bore the requisite signatures) in the real property records of Harris County. The petition amended the original restrictions and created a homeowners’ association with mandatory membership and the authority to establish and collect mandatory assessments. Simpson, a Kettering Oaks homeowner, sued Afton Oaks. Simpson alleged that the petition was null and void and sought: 1. a permanent injunction against Afton Oaks preventing it from creating a mandatory assessment in Kettering Oaks; and 2. judgment against Afton Oaks for assessments wrongfully collected. The trial court granted Afton Oaks’s motion for summary judgment. Simpson appealed, and the court of appeals dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that “the other property owners [were] necessary parties to the underlying action and were not joined.” HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. As in Brooks v. Northglen Ass’n, __ S.W.3d __ (Tex. 2004), Afton Oaks raised its jurisdictional argument for the first time on appeal. In Brooks, the court noted that a declaratory judgment action against a property owners’ association would not prejudice the rights of the other property owners because unjoined owners would not be bound by the suit, and nothing prevented the trial court from rendering complete relief to those parties before it. If the homeowners’ association were exposed to multiple suits, that was the result of its own inaction; the association could have “sought relief at trial by urging the court, among other things, to abate the case, join absent homeowners, or grant special exceptions.” The court rejected the notion that fundamental error excused the homeowners’ association from bringing the issue to the trial court’s attention. The court held that the homeowners’ association waived any objection by challenging jurisdiction for the first time on appeal. Brooks governs this case, the court decides. OPINION:Per curiam.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.