Southeast Texas Record

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Court vacates turnover order in case between Port Arthur Steam Energy, Oxbow Calcining


By Gabriel Neves | Dec 26, 2018

Oil 1280

BEAUMONT – An appellate court has reversed two decisions made by a lower court in a case between two companies over an energy agreement.

Justice Leanne Johnson, on the bench of the 9th District Court of Appeals, issued a 26-page ruling on Dec. 13 reversing the Jefferson County 172nd District Court decisions in the lawsuits filed by Port Arthur Steam Energy LLC (PASE) against Oxbow Calcining LP.

Johnson vacated the turnover order, stating that "the trial court had no jurisdiction and abused its discretion in entering the turnover order."

A turnover order is a procedure where creditors may reach assets of the defendant that are difficult to attach through an ordinary legal process, the opinion states. Johnson also reversed an order that denied Oxbow's motion to compel arbitration.

The Appeals Court remanded the case back to the trial court regarding the motion to compel arbitration and vacated the turnover order.

The issues started in 2011 when an arbitration panel awarded PASE with monetary damages resulting from lost revenue for calcined petroleum coke supplied by Oxbow, as well as breach of the energy agreement that was signed with PASE in 2005.

That agreement governed the use of a waste heat facility operated by PASE and the revenues generated with the steam resulting of the heat generated with the calcined petroleum coke.

PASE moved to confirm the arbitration decision at the 151st District Court in Harris County while Oxbow moved to vacate the decision, claiming the arbitrator was partial. The 1st Court of Appeals reversed the judgment, sending the case back to the lower court for confirmation.

Oxbow then appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, but its appeal was denied.

"On June 8, 2018, PASE filed plaintiff’s petition and application for post-judgment enforcement orders, and the suit was assigned to the 172nd Judicial District Court," the opinion states. "PASE sought 'post-judgment relief and orders from [the172nd District Court] including, but not limited to, injunctive orders and/or, in the alternative, a turnover order, an order appointing a receiver, and/or other orders or relief under §31.002 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code against Oxbow, a Judgment Debtor of PASE.'"

Texas Ninth Court of Appeals case numbers 09-18-00359-CV and  09-18-00392-CV

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Texas Supreme CourtCourt of Appeals - 9th District of Texas at Beaumont