Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What is equitable title, as opposed to legal title?


Equitable title is "the present right to compel legal title." Hydroscience Techs., Inc. v. Hydroscience, Inc., 401 S.W.3d 783, 801 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2013, pet. denied) (citing Smith v. Dass, Inc., 283 S.W.3d 537, 542 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2009, no pet.)).  

Equitable title is the present right to compel legal title. AHF-Arbors at Huntsville I, LLC v. Walker Cnty. Appraisal Dist., 410 S.W.3d 831, 837 (Tex. 2012)Harris Cnty. Appraisal Dist. v. Primrose Houston 7 Hous., L.P., 238 S.W.3d 782, 787 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, pet. denied). A party may have equitable title if its right to compel legal title is entirely within its control. See, e.g., TRQ Captain's Landing L.P. v. Galveston Cent. Appraisal Dist., 212 S.W.3d 726, 737 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2006, aff'd, 423 S.W.3d 374 (Tex. 2014)) (where tax exempt entity could dissolve subsidiary at any time and articles of organization provided assets reverted to tax exempt entity upon dissolution, tax exempt entity had present right to compel legal title). 

SOURCE: AUSTIN COURT OF APPEALS No. 03-13-00463-CV. - 6/24/2015

Here, however, even assuming all of AETC's asserted facts are true, they do not establish as a matter of law that the U.S. has the present right to compel legal title. See AHF-Arbors, 410 S.W.3d at 837City of Garland, 22 S.W.3d at 356