Catalina Dev., Inc. v. County of El Paso

In Catalina Dev., Inc. v. County of El Paso, 121 S.W.3d 704, 705, 46 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 636 (Tex. 2003), the court again dealt with the waiver-by-conduct exception to the sovereign immunity rule. Id. The appellant in that case argued that El Paso County waived immunity from suit by advertising for bids to sell some land, accepting appellant's bid, accepting and depositing the appellant's earnest money, and sending the appellant an earnest money contract to sign. Id. at 705. The county argued that its conduct constituted acts of contract formation, which did not waive immunity from suit. Id. The appellant in Catalina distinguished his case from Federal Sign v. Texas Southern University, 951 S.W.2d 401, 40 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 676 (Tex. 1997) saying that he had fully performed under the contract. Id. at 706. The court noted that in Federal Sign the State was the buyer of commercial goods while here the county was the seller of government land. Id. The appellant did not wish to recover for goods already conveyed, instead he wished to enforce a sale of land that belonged to the people of the county. Id. Under these facts, the supreme court held that the county did not waive immunity from suit. Id.