Property owners not entitled to injunctive relief to prevent access to property connected to public park

Savering, et al v. City of Mansfield 02-15-00034-CV  (Tex. App. – Fort Worth, January 21, 2016)

This is an interlocutory appeal from the denial of a temporary injunction.

The Plaintiffs are property owners in a neighborhood. After the City built a bridge over the creek to connect the property at issue to a public park, the Plaintiffs sued their homeowners’ association (“HOA”) and the City, seeking a declaratory judgment that the HOA owned the property and seeking to quiet title to the property. They also brought claims against the City for trespass, for breach of restrictive covenants, and for inverse condemnation.  The Plaintiffs sought an injunction to place a barricade preventing park people from using the property, prohibit people from entering the property at issue, and place a “no trespass” sign on the property. After a hearing the trial court denied the temporary injunctive relief.

Testimony essentially established the bridge opened up property adjacent to the property owners to ingress and egress, which has previously been limited due to the creek. The property owners felt it diminished their sense of privacy since no fencing could be erected in the floodway. However, the property owners knew of the walking trail allowing public passage which ran through the area and was also accessible through another entryway. Under a temporary injunction standard of review, the trial court had the discretion to believe or disbelieve any of the testimony, to determine that the additional pedestrian access provided by the bridge did not constitute irreparable injury or extreme hardship, and to conclude that the Plaintiffs had not made a clear and compelling presentation of extreme necessity or hardship.  The holding was not an abuse of discretion given the testimony and therefore the injunction was properly denied.

If you would like to read this opinion click here. Panel: Justice Gardner, Justice Meier and Justice Sudderth.  Opinion by Justice Sudderth.  The attorneys listed for the City are Daniel R. Barrett and Tim G. Sralla.  The attorney listed for the Plaintiffs is Bill N. Warren.

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