"GENERAL ORDER" GRANTING MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT CANNOT BE APPEALED BY AGREEMENT

Double Diamond Delaware, Inc. v. Walkinshaw
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-13-00893-CV (October 7, 2013)
Justices Moseley, Lang-Miers (Opinion), and Lewis
A group of property owners sued a developer, challenging assessments of mandatory property-owners-association fees.  The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, each asserting multiple grounds.  The trial court granted the plaintiffs’ motion, denied the defendants’ motion, and granted permission to appeal under former section 51.014(d) of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.  In accordance with the statute, the trial court’s order noted that the parties agreed to an appeal, that the order involved a controlling question of law, and that an immediate appeal would materially advance the litigation, but the order did not state the basis for the court’s summary-judgment ruling.  In their appellate briefing, the appellants identified four controlling questions that were raised in the motions for summary judgment and were at issue in the appeal.  But the Court of Appeals declined to consider whether those questions satisfied the statutory requirements, concluding it lacked jurisdiction because “[t]he appealed order is silent as to the basis for the trial court’s order, and nothing in the record shows the trial court made a substantive ruling on any of the legal issues presented to us.”  The Court dismissed the appeal.

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