Dickson v. Navarro County Levee Improvement Dist. N

In Dickson v. Navarro County Levee Improvement Dist. No. 3, 135 Tex. 95, 139 S.W.2d 257 (Tex. 1940), E.K. Atwood held levee bonds issued by two improvement districts. Id. at 258. Bondholders like Atwood had a statutory remedy allowing them to sue landowners to enforce delinquent taxes on the bonds if the districts failed to do so within sixty days after the taxes became delinquent. Id. Atwood, acting on behalf of the Navarro County Levee Improvement District No. 3, sued three landowners in district court to recover the taxes that they failed to pay for 1933 and 1934. Id. On June 25, 1937, Atwood obtained a default judgment in favor of the district for the delinquent taxes. Id. While the case was on appeal, the legislature repealed the statute authorizing the bondholders' remedy. Id. at 259. The court of appeals subsequently affirmed the district court's default judgment. Id. But the supreme court set it aside, concluding that the legislature's repeal of the bondholder-enforcement statute had "wholly collapsed" the "special remedial privilege" that had been afforded to Atwood as a bond purchaser. Id. The court rejected the notion that Atwood had been "robbed of some right" and noted although the district had obtained a judgment in its favor, the court had never entered a final judgment. Id. at 260.