The major developments in the field of civil procedure during the Survey period occurred through judicial decisions.
II. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
In recent years, the Texas Supreme Court’s docket has been crowded with cases raising issues of subject matter jurisdiction. This trend continued during the Survey period. In Rusk State Hospital v. Black, the supreme court reaffirmed the principle that governmental immunity from suit implicates a trial court’s subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, a court of appeals can consider the immunity defense even if it is raised for the first time on interlocutory appeal under Section 51.014(a) of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Although that statute creates an exception to the general rule allowing appeals only from final judgment and is therefore strictly construed, the supreme court reasoned it could not be construed so as to effectively “require appellate courts to address the merits of cases without regard to whether the courts have jurisdiction.”
Donald Colleluori, et al., Civil Procedure: Pre-Trial & Trial, 1 SMU Ann. Tex. Surv. (2014)