Enis v. Smith – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Enis v. Smith, 883 S.W.2d 662, 37 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 1217 (Tex. 1994), the Supreme Court held that mandamus would lie to set aside a turnover order after the underlying out-of-state judgment was set aside by the issuing court for lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendant.

In Enis, the plaintiff obtained a default judgment against Enis for an unpaid gambling debt of $ 200,000.00 in Clark County, Nevada. The plaintiff then filed a petition to enforce the judgment in Harris County, Texas.

The plaintiff sold the default judgment to a third party who filed for and obtained a turnover order in Harris County directing Enis' debtors to pay all amounts due him into the court's registry for satisfaction of the Nevada judgment.

Enis applied for a stay of the turnover order and moved to vacate the foreign judgment based on lack of personal jurisdiction.

The Nevada court subsequently voided the Nevada default judgment. Enis then returned to Harris County wherein the trial court denied his Motion for New Trial.

The appellate court held a void judgment will not support a turnover order and therefore the trial court abused its discretion in continuing to enforce the turnover order. Id. at 663.