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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On April 28, 2005, Raymondville Independent School District (RISD) filed its original petition against Joe Williamson Construction Co. in Willacy County, alleging that the suit arose “from the acquisition, design, and construction of Raymondville High School, and two elementary schools.” JWCC filed an application for arbitration. On Aug. 15, 2005, the 107th District Court of Willacy County granted the application and ordered the parties to arbitrate “[a]ll disputes between . . . [RISD] and [JWCC] arising out of and related to the two construction contracts.” The 107th District Court of Willacy County also abated the proceedings pending the outcome of the arbitration. On April 5, 2006, approximately eight months after arbitration was ordered, RISD filed a notice of nonsuit in the 107th Court litigation. No order granting the nonsuit appeared in the record. On April 27, 2006, the 107th Court signed an order setting aside the nonsuit and reinstating the case. The order was filed on May 4, 2006. Notwithstanding the suit in the 107th Court, RISD filed a second suit in the 139th District Court of Hidalgo County. RISD’s first amended petition, filed on April 19, 2006, provided that the second suit arose “from the acquisition, design and construction of a new school and gymnasium from Raymondville I.S.D.” On June 22, 2006, the American Arbitration Association sent a letter to the parties in the first suit regarding arbitration procedures and rules. That same day, RISD filed an application for an emergency temporary restraining order requesting that the 139th Court enjoin JWCC from including in its arbitration application before the 107th Court the projects involved in the litigation before the 139th Court. On June 23, 2006, the 139th Court granted RISD’s application. RISD filed its second amended original petition in the 139th Court on June 30, 2006, alleging that the suit arose “from the construction of Raymondville High School and High School Athletic Center for Raymondville I.S.D.” On July 6, 2006, the 139th Court heard RISD’s motion to convert the 139th Court’s temporary restraining order to a temporary injunction, as well as JWCC’s motion to dissolve the temporary restraining order. On July 17, 2006, the 139th Court issued an order enjoining JWCC from seeking arbitration on the legal or factual issues raised in the 139th Court suit, including alleged construction defects, liability and damages. An interlocutory appeal from the temporary injunction ensued. HOLDING:The court ordered that the temporary injunction be vacated and the 139th Court suit be dismissed. JWCC contended that the 139th Court abused its discretion when it issued a temporary injunction enjoining JWCC from complying with an order of arbitration issued by the 107th Court, the court which JWCC says had dominant jurisdiction over this matter. In response, RISD asserted that the temporary injunction did not interfere with the arbitration order, because both suits involved separate and distinct claims, and also because dominant jurisdiction remained in the 139th Court, where the court ruled on jurisdiction and resolved the issue in favor of RISD. The longstanding common law rule in Texas, the court stated, is that the first court to acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties of a controversy has dominant jurisdiction over all other courts. Based on the record, the court concluded that the 107th Court was the first court to acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties of the controversy and that it maintained such jurisdiction. The 107th Court, the court stated, had the power to determine all essential questions and to do anything with reference thereto authorized by law. Thus, the 107th Court had dominant jurisdiction that excluded the 139th Court from exercising jurisdiction over the same case. Accordingly, the court found that the 139th Court abused its discretion when it exercised jurisdiction over the case by issuing the temporary injunction. OPINION:Rodriguez, J.; Valdez, C.J., and Rodriguez and Garza, JJ.

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