law-constructive-trust | constructive trust equitable remedy |

A constructive trust is a legal fiction, a creation of equity to prevent a wrongdoer from profiting from her
wrongful acts. Procom Energy, L.L.A. v. Roach, 16 S.W.3d 377, 381 (Tex. App.-Tyler 2000, pet. denied).
Such trusts are remedial in character and have the broad function of redressing wrong or unjust enrichment
in keeping with basic principles of equity and justice. Id.; see also Hubbard v. Shankle, 138 S.W.3d 474, 485
(Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2004, pet. denied). To obtain a constructive trust, the proponent must prove (1) the
breach of a special trust, fiduciary relationship, or actual fraud; (2) unjust enrichment of the wrongdoer; and
(3) tracing to an identifiable res. Troxel v. Bishop, 201 S.W.3d 290, 297 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2006, no pet.);
Hubbard, 138 S.W.3d at 485. A constructive trust is a relationship with respect to property, subjecting the
person by whom the title to the property is held to an equitable duty to convey it to another on the ground
that her acquisition or retention of the property is wrongful and that she would be unjustly enriched if she
were permitted to retain the property. Baker Botts, L.L.P. v. Cailloux, 224 S.W.3d 723, 736 (Tex. App.-San
Antonio 2007, pet. denied) (quoting Talley v. Howsley, 142 Tex. 81, 86, 176 S.W.2d 158, 160 (1943)).
Whether a constructive trust should be imposed at all is within the discretion of the trial court. Troxel, 201
S.W.3d at 297; Hubbard, 138 S.W.3d at 485. The proponent of a constructive trust must strictly prove the
elements necessary for the imposition of the trust. Troxel, 201 S.W.3d at 297; Hubbard, 138 S.W.3d at 485.

CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST

A constructive trust is an equitable remedy created by the courts to prevent unjust
enrichment. Hubbard v. Shankle, 138 S.W.3d 474, 485 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth 2004,
pet. denied). To obtain a constructive trust, the proponent must prove: (1) breach of a
special trust, fiduciary relationship, or actual fraud; (2) unjust enrichment of the
wrongdoer; and (3) tracing to an identifiable res. Id.

HOUSTON CASE LAW ON CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST ISSUES

Moneyhon v. Moneyhon 278 S.W.3d 874 (Tex.App.- Houston -14th Dist.] Feb. 12, 2009, no pet.)(Frost)
(
judgment not supported by the pleadings, TRCP 301 judgment to conform to the pleadings, breach of
fiduciary duty claim not tried by consent, pleading deficiency, constructive trust improperly imposed)
REVERSED AND RENDERED: Opinion by
Justice Frost  
Before Justices Anderson, Frost and Guzman
14-06-00873-CV  Brian D. Moneyhon and Cheryl Parrish-Moneyhon v. Patricia Moneyhon
Appeal from 412th District Court of Brazoria County
Trial Court Judge: W. Edwin Denman

Hurwitz  v. Adler (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist] Jun. 28, 2007)(Taft)
(probate, settlement agreement, constructive trust)
AFFIRM TRIAL COURT JUDGMENT: Opinion by
Justice Taft
Before Justices Taft, Jennings and Alcala)
01-03-01050-CV Ian Hurwitz and Robert S. Pickelner v. David Adler, Executor, et al., Appeal from Probate
Court No 4 of Harris County (Trial court judge: Hon. William McCulloch)

Probate Court Had Jurisdiction to Determine Title to Property and Right of Possession
York v. Samuel (Tex.App. - Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 5, 2007)(Alcala)
[
probate dispute over real estate, eviction, forcible entry and detainer, FED, forcible detainer, FD, defective
title, constructive trust]


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