Trusts - Jurisdiction District Court v. Statutory Probate Court

Gammill v. Fettner, 297 S.W.3d 792 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, no pet. h.).

Testamentary trust litigation occurred in District Court. Because there was also a statutory probate court in the county, the claim was made that District Court lacked jurisdiction.

The appellate court began its analysis by explaining that under Trust Code § 115.001(d) and Probate Code § 5(e) [now § 4H], the statutory probate court had concurrent jurisdiction. Thus, District Court had the ability hear the case even though the statutory probate court also had jurisdiction and the case was appertaining or incident to a decedent’s estate.

Moral: In counties with both a statutory probate court and a district court, trust litigation may proceed in either court as they have concurrent jurisdiction.