Court Reversed Order Appointing Temporary Administrator Due To A Lack Of A Bond
In In re Robinett, a party filed a petition for writ of mandamus, challenging a trial court’s order appointing a temporary administrator. No. 03-21-00649-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 926 (Tex. App.—Austin February 9, 2022, original proc.). The petitioner complained that the trial court failed to hold an evidentiary hearing and also appointed a temporary administrator without a bond. Regarding the hearing complaint, the court of appeals disagreed:
Under Section 55.001 of the Texas Estates Code, “[a] person interested in an estate may, at any time before the court decides an issue in a proceeding, file written opposition regarding the issue.” Relators are correct that such interested persons are entitled “to process for witness and evidence, and to be heard on the opposition.” Id. But, based on the record before us, they did not file any “written opposition” to the appointment until they filed their motion to reconsider three days after the appointment had already been decided. The trial court therefore did not abuse its discretion by appointing the temporary administrator without first conducting a hearing pursuant to Section 55.001 because there was no requirement for the trial court to hold a hearing under that statute.
Id. The court, however, agreed that the trial court abused its discretion by appointing the temporary administrator without bond:
The Estates Code expressly requires that the order appointing a temporary administrator “set the amount of bond to be given by the appointee.” Moreover, the Estates Code requires that a party must enter into a bond unless they meet one of a limited number of exceptions: (1) a will directs that no bond be required; (2) all the relevant parties consent to not requiring bond; or (3) the appointee is a corporate fiduciary. And other statutory provisions require a hearing and evidence before “setting the amount of a bond.” Based on the record before us, there is no evidence that the temporary administrator met any of the exceptions to the bonding requirement, nor is there any indication that the trial court undertook any evidentiary hearing regarding the bond amount. Accordingly, the trial court abused its discretion by failing to follow the statutory requirements for setting bonds as part of a temporary administrator appointment.