Bailey v. Cherokee County Appraisal Dist
In Bailey v. Cherokee County Appraisal Dist., 862 S.W.2d 581 (Tex. 1993), the Supreme Court was faced with a situation wherein the administration of the decedent's estate began in the Cherokee County Court at Law, but the Appraisal District and various taxing entities sued to collect delinquent taxes in the Cherokee County District Court during pendency of the administration.
The plaintiffs argued that since the district court had original probate jurisdiction, its authority included the ability to adjudicate matters incident to the estate and, being incident to the estate, their claim for back taxes, therefore, was properly filed in the Cherokee County District Court.
The Supreme Court disagreed, concluding that a "court empowered with probate jurisdiction may only exercise its probate jurisdiction over matters incident to an estate when a probate proceeding related to such matters is already pending in that court." Id. at 585.
This meant that because the administration of Bailey's estate was filed in the Cherokee County Court at Law, "that court alone had jurisdiction over matters incident to the estate." Id. at 585-86.
hat the administration was so pending also meant, according to the Supreme Court, that the county court at law acquired dominant jurisdiction over matters incident to the estate "to the exclusion of coordinate courts." Id. at 586.
Thus, the district court had no jurisdiction over the appraisal district's suit. Id. at 582.