Appeals of Order Compelling Arbitration In Texas

In Jack B. Anglin Co. Inc. v. Tipps, 842 S.W.2d 266, 272 (Tex. 1992), the supreme court, in reviewing a trial court's order denying a motion to compel arbitration, held mandamus relief is available when a trial court improperly denies a party's motion to compel arbitration brought under the FAA. Anglin, 842 S.W.2d at 272-73. In dicta, the court stated that "both the Texas and Federal Acts permit a party to appeal from an interlocutory order granting or denying a request to compel arbitration." Anglin, 842 S.W.2d at 271-72. At the time Jack B. Anglin Co. Inc. v. Tipps, 842 S.W.2d 266, 272 (Tex. 1992) was decided, article 238-2 of the Texas Arbitration Act governed the appealability of interlocutory orders granting or denying motions to compel arbitration. Act of May 29, 1965, 65th Leg., R.S., ch. 689, 1, 1965 Tex. Gen. Laws 1593, 1593, redesignated by Act of May 26, 1995, 74th Leg., R.S., ch. 588, 1, 1995 Tex. Gen. Laws 3402, 3402, revised by Act of May 8, 1997, 75th Leg., R.S., ch. 165, 5.01, sec. 171.098, 1997 Tex. Gen. Laws 329, 336 (current version at TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. 171.098(a) (Vernon Supp. 2000)). Except for redesignation, the provisions remain essentially unchanged. Section 171.098 of the TAA currently provides: (a) a party may appeal a judgment or decree entered under this chapter or an order: (1) denying an application to compel arbitration made under Section 171.021; (2) granting an application to stay arbitration made under Section 171.023; (3) confirming or denying confirmation of an award; (4) modifying or correcting an award; or (5) vacating an award without directing a rehearing. TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE ANN. 171.098(a) (Vernon Supp. 2000). Thus, we conclude, as have several of our sister courts, that, contrary to the dicta in Anglin, the Texas statute does not provide for any type of appeal from an order compelling arbitration. See, e.g., Lipshy Motorcars, Inc. v. Sovereign Assocs., 944 S.W.2d 68, 69-70 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1997, no writ) (holding an order compelling arbitration under the Texas Act is not appealable and declining to follow dicta in Anglin); Elm Creek Villas Homeowner Ass'n, Inc. v. Beldon Roofing, 940 S.W.2d 150, 154 (Tex. App.--San Antonio 1996, no writ) (same); Gathe v. Cigna Healthplan of Texas, Inc., 879 S.W.2d 360, 362 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, writ denied) (same).