Forcible Detainer Is Independent of Title Dispute

The court affirmed a judgment in favor of FNMA in this forcible detainer action. After Henning defaulted on a promissory note, FNMA purchased the property in foreclosure and demanded that Henning vacate. FNMA filed a forcible detainer proceeding and received a judgment awarding it possession.

After losing on appeal to the county court at law, Henning appealed to the district court arguing that the lower courts lacked jurisdiction because this was a suit over title to land. The court noted that a forcible detainer action only determines immediate right to possession. Further, a separate lawsuit to determine title does not deprive a court of jurisdiction over a forcible detainer action unless determining who has the right to immediate possession necessarily requires resolution of the title dispute. Because it was not necessary for the trial court to determine whether the foreclosure was valid and to resolve the title dispute before awarding possession to FNMA, it had jurisdiction.

Henning v. Federal National Mortgage Association, No. 05-12-00726-CV

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