Supreme Court returns breach-of-contract case against community college district to trial court for
reconsideration in light of immunity waiver statute enacted by the Texas Legislature; as it has done in
the a number of cases involving local government entities.

Trend Offset Printing Services, Inc. v. Collin County Community College District
(CCCCD) No. 06-0525 (Tex. Mar. 28, 2008)(per curiam) (immunity, venue)

Terms: governmental immunity, statutory waiver, "sue and be sued" clauses, Tooke v. City of Mexia progeny

DISTRICT; from Collin County; 5th district (05-05-00456-CV, ___ S.W.3d ___, 04-27-06)
Pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 59.1, after granting the petition for review and without hearing oral
argument, the Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and remands the case to the trial court.
Per Curiam Opinion

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Trend Offset Printing Services, Inc. v. Collin County Community College District  (Tex. 2008) (per curiam)


[emphasis and links not in the original]

Petitioner Trend Offset Printing Services, Inc. contracted in writing with respondent Collin County Community
College District to print course schedules for the District for a year, with an option to renew for two more years.
When the District refused to pay Trend for the first 201,000 schedules it delivered, Trend sued in Dallas County for
the amount due, lost profits for anticipatory breach, interest, costs, and attorney fees. On the District’s motion,
venue was transferred to Collin County, where the trial court sustained the District’s
plea to the jurisdiction
based on
immunity from suit and dismissed the case. The court of appeals affirmed. ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex. App.–
Dallas 2006).

We agree with the court of appeals that the
“sue and be sued” clause in section 11.151(a) of the Education
Code, made applicable here by sections 130.084(a) and 130.175 of the Code, does not waive the District’s
immunity from suit. See Satterfield & Pontikes Constr., Inc. v. Irving Indep. Sch. Dist., 197 S.W.3d 390, 391 (Tex.
2006) (per curiam); see also
Tooke v. City of Mexia, 197 S.W.3d 325, 342 (Tex. 2006).

However, while this case was on appeal, the legislature enacted sections 271.151-.160 of the Texas Local
Government Code, which partially waive immunity from suit against certain local government agencies in some
contract cases. Trend should have the opportunity to argue in the trial court that the District's immunity is waived by
these provisions.

Trend argues that the
venue transfer was improper. The District’s motion to transfer cited sections 15.001
(“Definitions”), 15.002 (“Venue: General Rule”), and 15.035 (“Contract in Writing”) of the Texas Civil Practice &
Remedies Code. Section 15.002 (b) allows a transfer “[f]or the convenience of the parties and witnesses,” and the
motion referenced the “balance of interests” and “not work an injustice” considerations in subsections (b)(2) and
(3). The trial court granted the motion without stating reasons, and the court of appeals upheld the ruling based on
section 15.002(b). Section 15.002(c) provides that a “court’s ruling or decision to grant or deny a transfer under
Subsection (b) is not grounds for appeal or mandamus and is not reversible error.” Trend argues that neither the
District’s motion nor anything in the record supports transfer under section 15.002(b). However, because the
motion sufficiently invoked subsection (b) in requesting a transfer, it was statutorily beyond review. Garza v. Garcia,
137 S.W.3d 36, 39 (Tex. 2004) ([S]ection 15.002(c) “precludes review not just of the evidence, but of the order
[under section 15.002(b)] itself. As a result, it is irrelevant whether a transfer for convenience is supported by any
record evidence.” (emphasis omitted)); Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 15.002.

Accordingly, we grant Trend’s petition for review and without hearing oral argument, Tex. R. App. P. 59.1, reverse
the court of appeals’ judgment and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

Opinion delivered: March 28, 2008