The Firm Celebrates Texas Supreme Court Ruling

The Firm celebrated a victory on behalf of its client, BMTP Holdings, L.P., when the Texas Supreme Court affirmed a court of appeals decision in favor of BMTP Friday, August 30, 2013. In the case, City of Lorena, Texas v. BMTP Holdings, L.P. , the Texas Supreme Court held that the City of Lorena wrongfully enforced a moratorium on development against developer BMTP’s property because the property had already been approved for development. A provision in the Local Government Code allows a municipality to enact a moratorium on property development but the moratorium must be limited to property that has not already been approved for development. Before the moratorium was enacted in 2006, BMTP had sought and received approval for a subdivision plated within the City of Lorena and had invested money into building the infrastructure, including curb and gutter, sewer and water connections and roads. The City subsequently enacted a moratorium on property development and applied it to BMTP’s property, which prevented BMTP from selling the remaining lots in the subdivision.

At the trial court level, BMTP filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that the moratorium was not enforceable against BMTP’s property and an inverse condemnation action claiming damages. The trial court sided with the City and granted summary judgment on both of BMTP’s claims. BMTP appealed and the Tenth Court of Appeals reversed and rendered in favor of BMTP for the declaratory judgment claim and reversed and remanded in favor of BMTP for its claim for inverse condemnation and attorneys’ fees. The City appealed to the Texas Supreme Court and after briefs on the merits and oral argument, ruled in favor of BMTP, affirming the judgment of the Tenth Court of Appeals.

Rick Brophy argued the case before the Supreme Court and Julia Jurgensen and Rick Brophy provided the briefing for the case. A copy of the Supreme Court’s opinion may be accessed here.