Alpert v. Gerstner

In Alpert v. Gerstner, 232 S.W.3d 117 (Tex. App.--Houston 1st Dist. 2006, pet. denied), the court had appointed Gerstner as a receiver for the plaintiffs' trusts and granted him "the same powers and duties as a trustee." Id. at 119-20. The Alpert plaintiffs argued that Gerstner should not be immune from various acts because they were not normal judicial functions. Id. at 125. The court determined that Gerstner was entitled to judicial immunity for some acts and not for others. That is, Gerstner was entitled to immunity "to the extent that she was authorized, as a receiver of the property in the Trusts, to take charge and keep possession of the Trust property." Id. at 130. But as to her actions regarding investing and managing the stock portfolios, "Gerstner was acting as a representative of the interests of the beneficiaries and not as an agent of the Court." Id. at 131. The court went on to cite a number of cases, all discussing the fiduciary duty that arises out of a trustee relationship--not, it is worth noting, arising out of a receivership. Id. at 131. In Alpert, the fiduciary duty owed by the receiver to the beneficiaries was not created by her appointment as receiver, but through the grant of power as trustee.