BEAUMONT – An appeal in a property tax suit brought by one of Southeast Texas’ most well known trial lawyers has been abated and remanded back to a district court, where the case has been tied up in litigation for the past decade.
Glen Morgan, a managing partner at Reaud Morgan & Quinn, originally sued the Jefferson County Appraisal District in 2006, claiming the hangar he leased from the Southeast Texas Regional Airport was exempt from ad valorem taxes and that the county had appraised the property above its cash market value.
Morgan has since amended his complaint multiple times and even filed a second suit against the JCAD in 2013, court records show.
Within the past year, the JCAD filed two appeals in the first case, both of which were abated and remanded by the Ninth Court of Appeals on Oct. 25.
Prior to the Ninth Court’s orders, the JCAD and Morgan had filed a joint motion to abate and remand.
“Without consideration of the merits, we abate the appeals, remand the case to the trial court, and authorize the trial court to conduct those proceedings necessary to effectuate the parties’ settlement agreement,” the orders state.
The appeals will be reinstated in 60 days unless: the JCAD files a motion to dismiss; the parties file a joint motion for an agreed disposition of the appeal; or the parties notify justices that they require additional time to complete the settlement.
In August of 2012, the case went to trial in Judge Donald Floyd's 172nd District Court, court records show.
According to the charge of the jury, jurors determined that the market value of the hangar is worth the same today as it was in January 2006, $10,752.
However, no judgment was entered at that time.
On appeal, the JCAD contended Morgan had amended a petition to assert claims only for tax years 2013 and 2014, declining to reassert any claims for tax years 2005 through 2012 before any judgment could be signed.
Last April, Morgan made an attempt to “undo” the dismissal of his previous claims, filing a motion arguing the filing of the amended petitions was inadvertent or accidental.
After some back and forth between the parties, on Nov. 5, 2015, Judge Floyd denied the JCAD’s motion for continuance and plea to the jurisdiction and granted Morgan’s motion for entry of judgment and attorney’s fees.
Morgan and his firm have contributed heavily to Floyd’s re-election campaigns over the years.
The JCAD is represented in part by Mehaffy Weber attorney Patricia Chamblin.
Appeals case Nos. 09-15-00479-CV and 09-16-00034-CV
Trial court case No. E177-646