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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In 2000, a Brazoria County district court divorced Rachel and Gregory Leder. Pursuant to the divorce decree, Rachel and Gregory became the joint managing conservators of their two children, C.L. and T.L. The decree gave Rachel the right to establish the primary residence of the children. Sometime after the divorce, Rachel and the two children moved to Harris County. On March 22, 2007, Gregory filed a petition to modify matters affecting the parent-child relationship. Gregory filed the motion in Brazoria County district court. Gregory sought to modify custody with respect to T.L. only. Specifically, Gregory requested that “[T.L.] be allowed to return with [Gregory] to Louisiana and enroll in school there.” Gregory requested that he be named T.L.’s sole managing conservator, or alternatively, that he be named the joint managing conservator with the right to designate T.L.’s primary residence. On the same day, the trial court signed a “Temporary Restraining Order and Order Setting Hearing for Temporary Orders,” in which it ordered T.L. to return with Gregory to Louisiana pending further hearing. On March 26, 2007, Rachel filed a general denial, a counter-petition and a motion to transfer venue. In the motion to transfer, Rachel requested that venue be transferred from Brazoria County to Harris County. Rachel alleged that T.L. had resided in Harris County for at least six months. She also filed a motion titled Motion to Vacate Ex Parte Temporary Orders, and in the Alternative an Emergency Hearing and Request for Sanctions. In addition, Rachel filed a certificate of written discovery indicating that she had served Gregory with her request for production, interrogatories and request for disclosure. On March 30, 2007, Rachel filed another motion for sanctions and a notice of hearing regarding the motion to transfer and the request for sanctions. On April 26, 2007, Gregory’s attorney filed an affidavit to controvert the motion to transfer. In the affidavit, Gregory’s attorney averred that Rachel “has appeared or will appear in a hearing on a Motion to Vacate, Temporary Orders or other hearing before a hearing on the Motion to Transfer and therefore has waived jurisdiction.” At a hearing on May 10, 2007, the trial court denied the motion to transfer and held that Rachel had waived venue by invoking the jurisdiction of the court. On May 29, 2007, the court signed an order denying the motion to transfer, which Rachel challenged by filing a petition for a writ of mandamus. HOLDING:The court conditionally granted the petition for mandamus relief. An erroneous denial of a mandatory venue transfer, the court stated, is subject to mandamus relief without a showing of inadequate remedy by appeal. The duty to transfer a suit affecting the parent-child relationship pursuant to Texas Family Code �155.201(b) is a mandatory, ministerial duty, the court stated. Under �155.201(b), if a suit to modify or a motion to enforce an order is filed in the court having continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of a suit, on the timely motion of a party the court shall, within the time required by �155.204, transfer the proceeding to another county in this state if the child has resided in the other county for six months or longer. In this case, no one disputed that the trial court had continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The mandamus record showed that Rachel timely filed the motion to transfer venue. In addition, no party disputed that T.L. had lived in Harris County longer than six months at the time Gregory filed the SAPCR. Accordingly, Rachel satisfied the requirements of �155.201(b). Nonetheless, the trial court concluded that Rachel waived venue by invoking the trial court’s judicial power. More particularly, Gregory claimed that Rachel acted inconsistently with her desire to change venue when she filed a counterclaim, a jury demand, a motion to vacate the ex parte temporary orders, two motions for sanctions and a certificate of written discovery before obtaining a ruling on her motion for transfer. A party seeking a venue transfer, however, may generally urge certain preliminary motions without waiving the right to complain about venue, the court stated. Thus, the court concluded that Rachel’s actions did not waive her venue challenge. Rachel’s preliminary motions and discovery, the court stated, were ancillary to the main action and did not invoke the power of the trial court in a manner inconsistent with Rachel’s continuing intention to insist on a change of venue. Accordingly, because Rachel’s motion to transfer was timely, T.L. had lived in Harris County for six months or longer and Rachel did not waive venue, a venue transfer of the suit to Harris County was mandatory. The court therefore held that the trial court abused its discretion by denying the motion to transfer. OPINION:Higley, J.; Taft, Keyes and Higley, JJ.

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