Reversal for charge error

The plaintiff in RBIII, L.P. v. City of San Antonio sought damages after the City of San Antonio razed a property without providing prior notice.  No. 11-50626 (April 23, 2013).  After a jury trial it recovered $27,500 in damages.  The Fifth Circuit found that a key jury instruction on the City’s defenses “improperly cast the central factual dispute as whether or not the Structure posed an immediate danger to the public, when the issue should have been whether the City acted arbitrarily or abused its discretion in determining that the Structure presented an immediate danger.”  Accordingly, “[b]ecause this error in the instructions misled the jury as to the central factual question in the case,” the Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.   The Court’s analysis summarizes how federal courts address the issue of harm in erroneous jury instructions that the Texas Supreme Court has engaged in the Casteel line of cases.

Recent Related Posts