Garza v. De Montalvo – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Garza v. De Montalvo, 147 Tex. 525, 217 S.W.2d 988 (Tex. 1949), the principal parties to the lawsuit were the ten heirs of Eugenio Garza Garcia and his wife Crisanta L. de Garza.

Three of the heirs, referred to as the Garza plaintiffs, brought suit against the remaining seven heirs, referred to as the Garza defendants, and Sun Oil Company. Id.

The suit sought to determine title to a mineral estate and royalty interests in 1,163 acres. Id.

In 1937, all ten heirs executed a written agreement of partition relating to the 1,163-acre tract. Id.

Although Sun Oil Company owned a lease to the mineral estate underlying a portion of the 1,163-acre tract, Sun Oil did not sign the partition agreement. Id. at 990.

The partition agreement allotted each of the heirs the surface and mineral estate to a specific tract of land. Id. at 991-92.

The Garza plaintiffs asserted the partition was ineffective without Sun Oil's joinder. Id. at 992.

The Texas Supreme Court, however, noted partition deeds are "binding contracts and are subject to the usual rules of construction to determine their scope and application." Id. at 993.

The court then held that the partition agreement was binding on the parties thereto who could not subsequently attack it "because later developments proved the agreement to be more advantageous to some of the parties than to others." Id. at 993-94.