Transfer of Matter Incident to an Estate from District Court to Probate Court

In re Ramsey, 28 S.W.3d 58 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2000, no pet.).


Partner One died first followed by Partner Two. Partner One’s Heir filed suit in District Court to establish the partnership and for payment of the redemption price from Partner Two’s estate. Heir did not present her claim in Probate Court. Partner Two’s Administrator obtained an order from Probate Court transferring Heir’s lawsuit to Probate Court under Probate Code § 5B. However, District Court on the same day refused to the transfer Heir’s suit to Probate Court. Months later and after being fully aware of Probate Court’s transfer order, District Court appointed a receiver for the partnership and set the suit for trial. Administrator sought a writ of mandamus to force District Court to transfer the suit to Probate Court.

The appellate court conditionally granted the writ. The court determined that Probate Court’s authority under Probate Code § 5B to transfer an action incident to the estate to itself applies even though venue for the action was proper in District Court. District Court was required to transfer the suit. The court rejected Heir’s argument that the suit should remain in District Court under the Uniform Partnership Act.

Moral: A district court has no discretion to prevent a transfer of an action from itself to a probate court when the probate court issues a transfer order under Probate Code § 5B.