X

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 August 2000, Wichita County contracted with Bobby Elledge to improve waterline service to its rural residents, including members of Friberg-Cooper Water Supply Corp. Although the contract required Elledge to provide his own insurance and equipment, he nevertheless submitted invoices for these items to Friberg-Cooper, which promptly and voluntarily paid them despite not being a party to the contract. On Aug. 30, 2004, more than two years but less than four years after the final invoice payment, Friberg-Cooper sued Elledge, seeking restitution under an unjust enrichment theory. The trial court granted Elledge summary judgment, ruling that the claim was barred under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code �16.003(a) by the two-year statute of limitations applicable to suits for “conversion of personal property” or “taking or detaining the personal property of another.” A divided 2nd Court of Appeals reversed, holding that unjust enrichment claims are instead governed by the four-year limitations period applicable to suits on “debt.” The 2nd Court dismissed as dicta the Texas Supreme Court’s two earlier decisions stating that the two-year limitations period applies to unjust enrichment claims. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. The court stated that it had twice “indicated” in earlier cases that unjust enrichment claims fall under �16.003. Even without the benefit of its prior decisions, the court stated that it would conclude that unjust enrichment claims should fall under the two-year statute. The most logical reading of ��16.003 and 16.004 is to treat “debt” actions under �16.004 as breach-of-contract actions that fall under the four-year statute of limitations for such claims, while construing the two-year statute’s reference to actions for “taking or detaining the personal property of another” as applicable to extra-contractual actions for unjust enrichment. In order to bring unequivocal “predictability and consistency to the jurisprudence,” the court declared categorically that “[u]njust enrichment claims are governed by the two-year statute of limitations in section 16.003 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.” Accordingly, the court held that Friberg-Cooper’s claims were time-barred under the applicable two-year limitations period. 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.