law-plea-juris-lack-of-standing | plea to the jurisdiction governmental sovereign immunity | mootness
subject matter jurisdiction | standing doctrine, lack of standing to litigate claim |


PLEA TO THE JURISDICTION BASED ON ABSENCE OF STANDING TO BRING
SUIT

SWP Remic Properties II LP  v. HCAD (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Jan. 7, 2010) (Sullivan)      
(trial court’s order granting
Harris County Appraisal District’s (“HCAD”) plea to the jurisdiction affirmed; ad
valorem tax protest appeal judicial review suit not brought by owner of property. Rule 28 inapplicable)
AFFIRMED: Opinion by
Justice Sullivan      
Before     
14-08-00425-CV  SWP Remic Properties II LP as the Property Owners and the Property Owners v. Harris
County Appraisal District    Appeal from 55th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge:
Jeff Shadwick   

Standing

In an action for declaratory relief, a plaintiff must allege facts that affirmatively demonstrate that the trial court
has subject matter jurisdiction. Tex. Ass’n of Bus., 852 S.W.2d at 446; City of Pasadena v. Smith, 263 S.W.3d
80, 86 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2006, pet. denied). Both standing and ripeness are components of
subject matter jurisdiction. E.g. Waco Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Gibson, 22 S.W.3d 849, 850 (Tex. 2000). In regard to
standing, the focus is on who may bring an action, and, in regard to ripeness, the focus is on when that action
may be brought. Id.

Standing “requires that the controversy adversely affect the party seeking review.” McAllen Med. Ctr., Inc. v.
Cortez, 66 S.W.3d 227, 234 (Tex. 2001). In a standing analysis we focus on whether the “party has a sufficient
relationship with the lawsuit so as to have a ‘justiciable interest’ in its outcome.” Austin Nursing Ctr. v. Lovato,
171 S.W.3d 845, 848 (Tex. 2005). A party seeking declaratory relief has a justiciable interest in the subject
matter if there is “a real controversy between the parties” that will “actually be determined by the judicial
declaration sought.” Tex. Ass’n of Bus., 852 S.W.2d at 446. When determining standing, we “construe the
pleadings in favor of the plaintiff and look at the pleader’s intent.” Id.
Cassidy v. TeamHealth, Inc. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jul. 23, 2009)(Jennings)(no standing to pursue
declaratory judgment claim, plea to the jurisdiction, opportunity to amend pleadings not exercised)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by
Justice Jennings   
Before Justices Jennings, Keyes and Higley  
01-08-00324-CV  Crystal Cassidy v. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine, The Texas Academy of
Emergency Medicine and Richard J. Ybarra v. TeamHealth, Inc., TeamHealth, P.A., Memorial Hermann
Healthcare System, ACS Primary Care Physcians Southwest, P.A., and Teamhealth West   
Appeal from 80th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge:
Hon. Lynn Bradshaw-Hull


Standing is a component of subject-matter jurisdiction that cannot be waived.  Tex. Ass'n of Bus. v. Tex. Air
Control Bd., 852 S.W.2d 440, 445-46 (Tex. 1993).  If a party has no standing, a trial court has no subject-
matter jurisdiction to hear the case.  Id. at 444-45.  A trial court's jurisdiction to hear the subject matter of a
dispute may be challenged by filing a plea to the jurisdiction.  See Bland Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Blue, 34 S.W.3d
547, 554 (Tex. 2000).  A defendant may prevail on a plea to the jurisdiction by demonstrating that, regardless
of merit, an incurable jurisdictional defect remains on the face of the pleadings that deprives the trial court of
subject-matter jurisdiction.  Harris County Appraisal Dist. v. O'Conner & Assocs., 267 S.W.3d 413, 416 (Tex.
App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, no pet.).  In determining a plea to the jurisdiction, a trial court may consider
the pleadings and any evidence pertinent to the jurisdictional inquiry.  Bland, 34 S.W.3d at 554-55.

We review a trial court's ruling on a plea to the jurisdiction de novo.  See Tex. Dep't of Parks & Wildlife v.
Miranda, 133 S.W.3d 217, 226 (Tex. 2004) (setting forth standard of review for pleas to the jurisdiction).  In
our review, we construe the pleadings liberally in favor of the pleader and look to the pleader's intent to
determine whether the facts alleged affirmatively demonstrate the trial court's jurisdiction to hear the cause.  
See id.  In a review of a plea to the jurisdiction, we cannot examine the merits of the case.  See Houston Indep.
Sch. Dist. v. 1615 Corp., 217 S.W.3d 631, 635 (Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.] 2006, pet. denied) (op. on
reh'g).
BACM 2002 PBs Westpart Dr LP v. HCAD (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Jul. 21, 2009)(Frost)
(prior owner
did not have standing to bring ad valorem tax protests appeal, judicial review suit, assumed name
theory as basis for substitution of correct party rejected,
no standing - no subject matter jurisdiction).  
AFFIRMED: Opinion by
Justice Frost     
Before Chief Justice Hedges, Justices Brock Yates and Frost   
14-08-00493-CV BACM 2002 PB2 Westpark Dr LP, Houston Parkwest Place Ltd, as the Property Owners and
the Property Owners v.
Harris County Appraisal District and the Appraisal Review Board of Harris County
Appraisal District   Appeal from 11th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court
Judge: Mark Davidson