Estate Administration


Interlocutory Appeal

State v. Fernandez, 159 S.W.3d 678 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi-Edinburg 2004, no pet.).


In another case involving the estates of John G. Kenedy, Jr., his wife, Elena, and his sister, Sarita, the appellate court held that it had no jurisdiction over an interlocutory appeal filed by the State of Texas. Texas appealed the trial court’s order to transfer to itself bills of review filed in other courts by a purported heir who seeks to reopen the estates. The court explained that although Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 51.014(a)(8) gives the court jurisdiction over interlocutory appeals from the denial of a governmental unit’s plea to the jurisdiction, Texas had not sought dismissal of the bills of review. Instead, Texas was attempting to show that the trial court’s transfer order was void and this action is outside the scope of the statute.

Note: A lengthy concurring and dissenting opinion argues that the court should have treated the appeal as a petition for a writ of mandamus and then denied it.

Moral: A party relying on a statute to give a court appellate jurisdiction should make certain the appeal falls within the statute’s purview.