Texas Supreme Court Orders - 9/4/15

Posted by Rich PhillipsAs predicted last week, the Supreme Court’s order list was busier today. The Court granted 13 petitions for review and set a mandamus petition for argument. In so doing, the Court filled out its October argument calendar and the majority of its November argument calendar. I will post summaries of the 14 cases next week.The order list also includes an unusual entry: an dissenting opinion from the denial of a mandamus petition and an opinion concurring in the denial. The case is No. 15-0632, In re Dorn, which the Court denied on August 28. The petition involves an attempt by citizens of San Marcos to compel an election on a charter amendment. The concurrence (by Justice Brown and joined by Justice Green), seeks to explain why the Court denied the petition in this case even though it is similar to In re Woodfill, in which the Court granted mandamus relief. The concurrence notes that the relators in Dorn were not as diligent in pursuing relief even though they knew that statutory deadlines for the election were quickly approaching. The dissent (by Justice Devine and joined by Justice Lehrmann) concludes that the city failed to follow its own charter in refusing to place the citizen initiative on the ballot. The dissent also chastises the city for using an interlocutory appeal to ensure that the statutory deadline would pass before the dispute would be resolved. This case is a good reminder that although there are no hard deadlines for a mandamus petition, failing to act expeditiously can result in denial of relief.