law-special exceptions | pleading deficiency | insufficient allegations | fair notice pleading |


The trial court has broad discretion to sustain special exceptions and order more definite pleadings.
Baylor Univ. v. Sonnichsen, 221 S.W.3d 632, 635 (Tex. 2007); West Orange-Cove Consol. Indep. Sch.
Dist. v. Alanis, 107 S.W.3d 558, 583 (Tex. 2003). Where the trial court grants special exceptions and
the plaintiff refuses or fails to comply with the order, the court does not err in dismissing the cause of
action. Holt v. Reproductive Servs., Inc., 946 S.W.2d 602, 605 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1997, writ
denied); Cole v. Hall, 864 S.W.2d 563, 566 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1993, writ dism'd w.o.j.) (en banc).
Dismissal with prejudice is proper if the plaintiff fails to amend deficient pleadings when given the
opportunity to do so. See Lentworth v. Trahan, 981 S.W.2d 720, 722-23 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.]
1998, no pet.); Hubler v. City of Corpus Christi, 564 S.W.2d 816, 823 (Tex. Civ. App.-Corpus Christi
1978, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS

Awalt Group, Inc. v. M Power Entertainment (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] May 19, 2007)(Hudson)(sworn
account suit, special exception, motion for summary judgment, statute of limitations, SoL)
AFFIRMED: Opinion by Justice Hudson
Before Justices Brock Yates, Anderson and Hudson
14-05-01208-CV Awalt Group, Inc. v. M Power Entertainment
Appeal from 189th District Court of Harris County (
Judge William R. Burke JR)

A party's pleadings need only provide “a short statement of the cause of action sufficient
to give fair notice of the claim involved."  Tex. R. Civ. P. 47; Tex. Dep't of Parks & Wildlife
v. Miranda, 133 S.W.3d 217, 230 (Tex. 2004).  A court should uphold a plaintiff's petition
as to a cause of action that may be reasonably inferred from what is specifically stated.  
Boyles v. Kerr, 855 S.W.2d 593, 601 (Tex. 1993).  In the absence of special exceptions,
“a petition will be construed liberally in favor of the pleader."  Roark v. Allen, 633 S.W.2d
804, 809 (Tex. 1982); Stone v. Layers Title Ins. Corp., 554 S.W.2d 183, 186 (Tex. 1977).  
Christus Health v. Kone, Inc. (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Jun. 25, 2009)(Brown)
(
fraud and fraud-in-the-inducement claims relating to a contract for elevator-maintenance services,
one-satisfaction rule does not apply here, pleading sufficiency, special exceptions, affidavit found to be
conclusory)
AFFIRMED: Opinion by
Justice Brown
Before Justices Anderson, Frost and Brown
14-07-00786-CV Christus Health and Christus Health Gulf Coast v. Kone, Inc
Appeal from 127th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court
Judge: Sharolyn P. Wood  


WHAT CAN BE CHALLENGED WITH SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS?
Special exceptions must be based on one or more of three propositions–1) that no legal rule
justifies a recovery on a claim of the type alleged; 2) that, though there is a legal rule which might be
applicable, the petition omits one or more allegations essential to bring plaintiff's claim within its scope; or
3) that, though there is a legal rule which might be applicable, the petition shows on its face facts which
negate its application. Fernandez v. City of El Paso, 876 S.W.2d 370, 372 (Tex. App.–El Paso
1993, writ denied) (citing MCDONALD, TEXAS CIVIL PRACTICE § 9:25 (1992)).  14-98-01102-CV

OPTIONS FOR PLEADER WHEN COURT SUSTAINS SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS:
If the trial court sustains special exceptions, the pleader can either replead or refuse to replead and
test the validity of its pleadings on appeal. McCamey v. Kinnear, 484 S.W.2d 150, 152 (Tex. Civ.
App.–Beaumont 1972, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

CHALLENGING THE SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS ORDER: STANDARD OF REVIEW ON APPEAL:
When reviewing the grant of special exceptions, we take as true the factual allegations in the
plaintiff's pleading and review the trial court's rulings under an abuse of discretion standard. Thompson
v. El Centro Del Barrio, 905 S.W.2d 356, 358 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 1995, writ denied). An
abuse of discretion is found if the trial court fails to correctly analyze or apply the law. Walker v. Packer,
827 S.W.2d 833, 840 (Tex.1992); In re Kimball Hill Homes Texas, Inc., 969 S.W.2d 522, 524
(Tex. App–Houston[14th Dist.] 1998, no pet.).

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