Mandamus Granted to Correct Denial of Dismissal on Special Exceptions

The Dallas Court of Appeals has granted mandamus to correct a trial court’s failure to grant special exceptions and dismiss the plaintiff’s claims against the settlor of a royalty trust. The Court held that a beneficiary of the trust had no authority to interfere with the trustee’s exercise of discretionary powers, concluding that the trustee acted within its discretion by refusing to sue the settlor on claims that were precluded by the terms of the trust instruments. Citing the “practical and prudential” mandamus standard of In re Prudential, the Court of Appeals held that mandamus relief was appropriate because allowing the plaintiff to proceed to trial on behalf of the trust would defeat the trustee’s right to control such litigation. But while the settlor of the trust was dismissed from the lawsuit, and the plaintiff could not sue the trustee on behalf of the trust, the Court held that the plaintiff should have the opportunity to amend her petition to sue the trustee solely on her own behalf.

In re XTO Energy, Inc., No. 05-14-01446-CV

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