Henderson v. Shell Oil Co., Inc – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Henderson v. Shell Oil Co., Inc., 179 S.W.2d 386 (Tex. Civ. App.--Fort Worth), a Missouri court had appointed an adult as guardian of a person who resided in Missouri and owned 220 acres of oil-producing land in Texas. 179 S.W.2d at 386.

The guardianship was required because the Missouri resident was incompetent. Id. Acting as the incompetent person's next friend, the Missouri guardian filed suit in Texas to set aside an oil and gas lease and a sale of a mineral interest. Id.

Finding that the Missouri guardian was not a suitable person to act as next friend, the trial court removed the Missouri guardian as next friend and appointed another person for that case to act on the ward's behalf. Id. at 387-88.

On appeal from the order removing the Missouri guardian as next friend, the Fort Worth Court of Civil Appeals noted that an administrator is the agent solely of the court appointing him, and that his authority extends only to assets within the jurisdiction of the appointing court. Id. at 388.

The court held the trial court had the discretion to remove the Missouri guardian as a next friend and to appoint another person. Id. at 389.

On writ of error, the Supreme Court held that the trial court's order was interlocutory, reversed the judgment of the Court of Civil Appeals, and dismissed the appeal. Henderson, 182 S.W.2d at 995-96.