GALVESTON, TX – December 14, 2020 – The Texas Supreme Court on Monday granted the City’s Request for Oral Argument in the City’s Petition for Mandamus against the Texas General Land Office. Oral argument is scheduled for February 4, 2021.
In 2013, the City was sued by a contractor for grant funds received in the Community Development Block Grant program related to housing construction and reconstruction after Hurricane Ike. At the same time the GLO sued the City for a Declaratory Judgment in State court in Austin asking for a judgment finding the GLO did not owe any monies to the contractor and was not required to release any monies in payment of the judgment against the City. That case was placed on hold for years. In 2018, the Galveston County lawsuit resulted in a judgment against the City for more than $15 million, which was resolved by agreement and payment of a smaller sum. After, the City countersued the GLO under the grant agreement and requested a hearing against the GLO before the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Article 2260 provides for administrative hearings for claims against the State, and requires the GLO to submit the matter to the SOAH. The GLO claimed they were immune from suit and that the City was not entitled to an Administrative Hearing based on rules written by the GLO.
In the matter before the Supreme Court, the City is asking the Court to order the GLO to comply with the law and submit the City’s request for an administrative hearing to the SOAH.