Bobby Oxford v. City of Ballinger, et al., 03-13-00108-CV (Tex. App. – Austin, February 25, 2014).
This is an appeal from the granting of a plea to the jurisdiction where the Plaintiff alleges the City destroyed his mobile home and stole other property he claims is relevant to another civil lawsuit. The Austin court of appeals affirmed the dismissals.
Oxford’s mobile home was condemned and demolished by employees of the City of Ballinger. The City filed a motion to dismiss the individual defendants under §101.106(e) of the Texas Tort Claims Act (TCA) because they were employees of the City. The City filed a plea to the jurisdiction asserting the only claims pled were intentional torts (i.e. intentional infliction of emotional distress). The trial court granted the City’s motions and Oxford appealed.
The Austin court first held that since Oxford did not dispute he was bringing only tort claims and the individual defendants were employees, the court affirmed the dismissal of the employees. The court next analyzed the wording in Oxford’s pro se petition and held that he did not actually say anyone was negligent, but instead claims they intentionally acted in the demolition of his property. As a result, the City retains immunity for such intentional torts and the claims were properly dismissed.
If you would like to read this opinion click here. Panel: Justices Puryear, Rose, and Goodwin. Opinion by Justice Goodwin. Plaintiff Oxford appeared pro se. The attorney listed for the City is Jon Mark Hogg.