The Texas Trust Co-Trustees are subject to the personal jurisdiction of Texas
In Alexander v. Marshall, the original trustee was the beneficiary’s mother and the wife of the beneficiary’s father, who was the settlor. No. 14-18-00425-CV, 2021 Tex. App. LEXIS 1952 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] March 16, 2021, no pets. the story). In December 2016, the original trustee appointed residents of Louisiana as co-trustees of the trusts and signed the appointment documents in Texas. The Louisiana co-administrators each signed acceptance documents in Louisiana. All of the co-trustees testified that they knew, at or around the time of their appointment, that the beneficiary was a resident of Texas. The beneficiary of the trust sued the co-trustees for a declaratory judgment that the appointment of the co-trustees and their indemnity plan violated the terms of the trust instruments and that they aided and encouraged the original trustee to failing in his homework. The Louisiana co-administrators objected to the Texas court’s personal jurisdiction over them and filed special appearances. The trial court dismissed these objections and appealed.
The court of appeal upheld the order of the court of first instance. The Louisiana co-administrators initially argued that the trial court erred in dismissing their objections regarding their personal abilities. The appeals court disagreed, ruling: “A person is always responsible for his own torts as an individual, and Preston alleged that the co-trustees aided and abetted a misdemeanor – breach of fiduciary duty. The trial court did not err in not dismissing the individual co-trustees. Username.
The court of appeal then discussed the law relating to personal jurisdiction:
Texas exercise of personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant is accompanied by due process if a non-resident defendant has “minimal contact” with Texas and the exercise of jurisdiction does not contravene. traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. A defendant’s minimum contact with a forum, i.e., Texas, is established when the defendant willfully avails himself of the privilege to conduct business in the forum state, thereby invoking the benefits and protections of its laws. Identifier. Three principles govern this analysis: (1) only the contacts of the defendant with the forum are relevant, and not the unilateral activity of another party or a third party; (2) the acts of the defendant must be intentional and not random, isolated or accidental; and (3) the defendant must seek an advantage, advantage or profit by availing himself of the jurisdiction so that he implicitly consents to agree to it.
The minimum contacts of a non-resident defendant will give rise to specific personal jurisdiction if the plaintiff’s cause of action arises out of or relates to those contacts. For a non-resident defendant’s contact with Texas to support the exercise of a specific jurisdiction, “there must be a substantial connection between those contacts and the operational facts of the dispute.” A non-resident “ordering a Texas tort from afar is not sufficient to confer a specific jurisdiction.” The focus is on the scope of the defendant’s activities in the forum, not on the plaintiff’s residence.
However, the absence of physical contact with Texas does not violate personal jurisdiction as long as the defendant’s efforts are deliberately directed to residents of Texas. A defendant who goes beyond one state and creates continuing relationships and obligations with a citizen of another state is subject to the jurisdiction of that latter state in prosecutions based on those activities.
Username. The court ruled that the Louisiana co-trustees had sufficient contact with Texas for the Texas court’s exercise of jurisdiction over them to be fair:
The Co-Trustees argue that this tribunal should not follow Dugas as it is not binding and distinguishable from the fact that the trusts in this case are governed by Louisiana law and require the trustees to submit questions regarding administration. trusts in a Louisiana court. But there are additional facts in this case which indicate that the co-administrators voluntarily availed themselves of the benefits of a Texas forum. While the trust in Dugas was established in Florida and performed administrative functions in Tennessee, here the trust was established in Texas, has all of its property in Texas, and is administered in Texas. The former sole trustee, a Texan, appointed the co-trustees in Texas. Additionally, the Co-Trustees have received payments from Texas following their appointment as Co-Trustees, and future appointments and payments are indefinite. These additional facts support a conclusion that the Co-Trustees have moved beyond their state and created ongoing relationships and obligations with citizens of another state … creating ongoing relationships and obligations with citizens of Texas. Preston’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty arises from these relationships and obligations… In short, the trial court did not err in denying the special appearance. The problems of the co-trustees are dismissed. The order of the court of first instance is confirmed.