MANDAMUS GRANTED IN GARNISHMENT ACTION

In re Radiant Darkstar Productions, LLC 
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-13-00586-CV (June 25, 2013)
Justices FitzGerald, Lang, and Myers (Opinion)
The court of appeals granted mandamus relief from two orders of the trial court in a garnishment action. The plaintiff had obtained two out-of-state judgments against an affiliate of Radiant Darkstar, domesticated them in the trial court, and sued Radiant Darkstar on theories of fraudulent transfer and piercing the corporate veil. The trial court issued an ex parte prejudgment writ of attachment and also granted a motion requiring Radiant Darkstar to deposit $260,000 into the registry of the court, prompting Radiant Darkstar to seek mandamus relief. The court of appeals agreed with Radiant Darkstar that garnishment was not appropriate, noting that such a remedy is only available “when the demand is not contingent, is capable of ascertainment by the usual means of evidence, and does not rest in the discretion of the jury.” These criteria usually are not met in a fraudulent-transfer or piercing-the-corporate-veil case, and were not met in this case. The court also agreed that requiring Radiant Darkstar to deposit funds in the court registry amounted to a mandatory injunction, yet the plaintiff had not sought a temporary injunction, let alone proved his entitlement to one. The court therefore conditionally granted the petition for writ of mandamus with respect to the two orders.

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