City of Dallas v. VSC, LLC – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In City of Dallas v. VSC, LLC, 347 S.W.3d 231 (Tex. 2011), VSC, a licensed vehicle storage facility, initiated a constitutional takings suit against the City asserting a lien for storage fees against cars seized by the City's police department. Id. at 233-34.

The trial court denied the City's plea to the jurisdiction and this Court affirmed the trial court's order. Id. at 234. The supreme court reversed because VSC brought its suit without first seeking compensation through an applicable remedial statutory scheme, Chapter 47, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Id. at 235.

The majority concluded that because VSC knew who seized the cars, "it was required to pursue the chapter 47 proceedings." Id.

According to the dissent, VSC's failure to invoke Chapter 47 was not asserted as a ground for the City's plea to the jurisdiction or addressed in VSC's response. See id. at 242-43 (Wainwright, J., dissenting).

However, the record showed that in VSC's live petition, it contended it had no responsibility to seek that remedial statutory relief. Id. at 235 n.11; see also id. at 247 n.7 (Wainwright, J., dissenting) ("Certainly, in a notice pleading jurisdiction (and perhaps even if not), VSC's pleadings raise the issue of its rights and remedies under Chapter 47.").