law-turnover order | enforcement of foreign judgments |

A turnover order is an appealable order for which mandamus relief does not lie.  Schultz v. Fifth Judicial Dist.
Ct. of Appeals, 810 S.W.2d 738, 740 (Tex. 1991), abrogated on other grounds by In re Sheshtawy, 154 S.W.3d
114 (Tex. 2004).  

TURNOVER RELIEF  IN AID OF ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT

The Texas turnover statute is a procedural device to assist judgment creditors in post-judgment collection. A
judgment creditor is entitled to receive aid from a court in order to reach property to obtain satisfaction on a
judgment "if the judgment debtor owns property . . . that: (1) cannot readily be attached or levied on by
ordinary legal process; and (2) is not exempt from attachment, execution, or seizure for the satisfaction of
liabilities." Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 31.002 (a) (Vernon 2008). The statute empowers courts to
order a judgment debtor to turn over nonexempt property that is in the debtor's possession or subject to the
debtor's control, including present or future rights to property. Id. § 31.002 (b)(1). It also allows a court to
appoint a receiver "with the authority to take possession of the nonexempt property, sell it and pay the
proceeds to the judgment creditor to the extent to satisfy the judgment." Id. § 31.002(b)(3). The trial court is not
required to identify in the order the specific property subject to turnover. Id. § 31.002(h). In addition, the trial
court may enforce the turnover order by contempt proceedings. Id. § 31.002(c).   
We have previously construed the turnover statute as requiring an evidentiary showing to support the entry of
the court's order:
Before a trial court may grant relief under section 31.002(b), the conditions of section of 31.002(a) must exist,
namely, (1) the entity that is to receive aid must be a judgment creditor; (2) the court that would grant aid must
be one of appropriate jurisdiction; (3) the aid to be given must be in order to reach property to obtain
satisfaction on the judgment; and (4) the judgment debtor must own property (including present or future rights
to property) that: (a) cannot be readily attached or levied on by ordinary legal process and (b) is not exempt
from attachment, execution, or seizure for the satisfaction of liabilities. Tanner v. McCarthy, 274 S.W.3d 311,
322 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 2008, no pet.). In essence, Davis complains on appeal that the turnover
order was issued without the necessary evidentiary underpinnings, and that the scope of Radoff's powers
exceeds that allowed by the statute. We construe this as a collateral attack on the turnover order.
"A collateral attack on a judgment is an effort to avoid its binding force in a proceeding, instituted not for the
purpose of correcting, modifying, or vacating it, but in order to obtain specific relief against which the judgment
stands as a bar." Boudreaux Civic Ass'n v. Cox, 882 S.W.2d 543, 549 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1994, no
writ) (quoting Texaco, Inc. v. LeFevre, 610 S.W.2d 173, 176 (Tex. Civ. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1980, no
writ)).   As a general rule, turnover orders are final, appealable orders. Burns v. Miller, Hiersche, Martens &
Hayward, P.C., 909 S.W.2d 505, 506 (Tex. 1995). As such, turnover orders must be attacked on direct appeal.
See, e.g., In re Wiese, 1 S.W.3d 246, 249 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 1999, orig. proceeding). In Wiese, the
judgment debtor failed to comply with a turnover order and was held in contempt. Id. at 247. She petitioned for
a writ of habeas corpus, arguing in part that the underlying turnover order was void because it made no
provision for the deduction of underlying reasonable and necessary business expenses. Id. The Corpus Christi
Court of Appeals declined to reach that argument because the debtor had failed to challenge the turnover
order by direct appeal. Id. at 249. The Court noted that the turnover order in that case failed to include any
evidentiary findings relating to the amount of the property to be seized and whether the debtor owned enough
property to satisfy the judgment, and also failed to make provisions for the debtor's reasonable and necessary
business expenses. Id. at 250. Nevertheless, the Court held that "the fact that the turnover order is contrary to
a statute or contains errors only makes the judgment 'voidable' and does not give a party the right to
circumvent ordinary appellate or other direct procedures to correct it." Id. at 250-51.
Similarly, even if the turnover order in this case failed to include the amount of the underlying judgment to be
satisfied, required Davis to turnover exempt property or contained other requirements in contravention of the
turnover statute, the order would be
voidable--not void--and it must therefore have been the subject of a direct
attack. Id. at 250. Davis cannot use these alleged deficiencies to defeat Radoff's derived judicial immunity or to
hold Radoff or the Bank liable for actions taken in reliance upon the turnover order when she failed to timely
prosecute a direct appeal of the turnover order or seek injunctive or mandamus relief prohibiting the execution
of the turnover order. We overrule Davis's second issue
Davis v. West (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 31, 2009)(Hanks)(derived judicial immunity) (turnover relief,
void vs voidable order, existence of fiduciary duty, sufficiency of notice of summary judgment hearing)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by
Justice Hanks    
Before Justices Keyes, Alcala and Hanks   
01-08-01006-CV  Veronica Davis v. James A. West, Henry V. Radoff,
Houston Reporting Services & Prosperity Bank, Inc..   
Appeal from 149th District Court of Brazoria County
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Robert E. May  

MORE TURNOVER CASES FROM THE HOUSTON COURTS OF APPEALS

Eastern Bloc Entertainment, Ltd. v. ABCO Properties, Inc. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Mar. 11, 2010)(Higley)
(
appeal of turnover order)  
Appellants, Eastern Bloc Entertainment, Ltd., Altar Boys Management Company, L.L.C., Robert W. Thomas, and John S. “Skip”
Woods (collectively, “Eastern”), appeal from a turnover order granted in favor of appellee, Abco Properties, Inc., Trustee.
In three issues, Eastern contends that the trial court abused its discretion because (1) there was no evidence to support the
order, (2) the judgment has been satisfied, and (3) the order violates
public policy.
AFFIRM TRIAL COURT JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley     
Before Chief Justice Radack, Justices Alcala and Higley   
01-08-00238-CV  Eastern Bloc Entertainment, Ltd., Altar Boys Management Company, L.L.C., Robert W.
Thomas and John S. "Skip" Woods v. ABCO Properties, Inc., Trustee    
Appeal from 152nd District Court of Harris County  
Trial Court Judge:
Hon. Kenneth P. Wise   

In the Estate of Gaines (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] July 1, 2008)(Anderson) (probate matter estate,
disqualification of independent executor of estate proper, production of bank records, attorney's fee award to
bank not supported by pleadings and thus void, turnover order, no jurisdiction over interlocutory rejection of
claim )
AFFIRMED IN PART/REVERSED AND RENDERED: Opinion by
Justice Anderson  
Before Justices Brock Yates, Anderson and Brown
14-07-00257-CV In the Estate of Margaret Lynn Gaines, Deceased
Appeal from County Court at Law No 1 & Probate Court of Brazoria County
Trial Court Judge: Jerry Lee Mills

Sheik v. Sheikh (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Dec. 13, 2007)(Taft)(divorce, receivership, turnover)
Appellant, Wasim Ahmed Sheikh, appeals from a turnover-and-receivership order entered after a decree of divorce dissolving the
marriage between himself and appellee, Shama Sheikh .  We determine whether the trial court had subject-matter jurisdiction to
enter, or alternatively abused its discretion by entering, a turnover-and-receivership order that had the effect of enforcing the
decree's property division while Wasim's appeal of the underlying divorce decree was pending.  We also determine whether we
have jurisdiction, in this appeal, to consider Wasim's challenges to the portion of the order appointing the receiver as master in
chancery.  We reverse turnover-and-receivership portions of the order and remand the cause.
REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND REMAND CASE TO TC FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS:
Opinion by
Justice Taft
Before Justices Taft, Hanks and Higley
01-05-01022-CV Wasim Ahmed Sheikh v. Shama Sheikh
Appeal from 311th District Court of Harris County (
Hon. Doug Warne)

Holt v. Decyco Corp. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 27, 2007)(Taft)
[enforcement of old judgment,
dormant judgment, capacity, turnover relief]
REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND REMAND CASE TO TC FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS:
Opinion by
Justice Tim Taft
Before Justices Taft, Keyes and Hanks
01-05-01194-CV        William Gregory Holt v. Cedyco Corporation
Appeal from County Civil Court at Law No 1 of Harris County (
Judge Jack Cagle)
Justice
Keys dissented in Holt v. Cedyco Corp.    

Turnover Order Vacated in Case Involving Enforcement of 17 Year Old Judgment
Holt v. Decyco Corp. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 27, 2007)(Taft)
[enforcement of old judgment, capacity, turnover relief]
REVERSE TC JUDGMENT AND REMAND CASE TO TC FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS:
Opinion by Justice Taft
Before Justices Taft, Keyes and Hanks
01-05-01194-CV        William Gregory Holt v. Cedyco Corporation
Appeal from Co Civil Ct at Law No 1 of Harris County (Judge Jack Cagle)
Justice Keyes
dissented in Holt v. Cedyco Corp.    

Broesche v. Jacobson (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Mar. 8, 2007)(Yates)
(
divorce law, interpretation of decree, attorney's fees, sanctions, turnover order)
AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED & REMANDED IN PART: Opinion by
Justice Brock Yates
(Before Justices Brock Yates, Anderson and Hudson)
14-04-00548-CV Rebecca L. Broesche f/k/a Rebecca L. Jacobson v. John Daniel Jacobson and Texas
Independent Exploration, Inc.--Appeal from 308th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Judge Georgia Dempster  




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