1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Improper Summons

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by TexasPropertyManager, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. TexasPropertyManager

    TexasPropertyManager Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    I am the general manager of a property management company. Our company has been summoned to appear as a defendant in a local municipal court. The summons lists our company as the owner of the property, but we are not the owner. We are merely the property manager. Does this invalidate the summons? Can I ask to have the case dismissed on these grounds? The charge is Public Nuisance. Someone keeps dumping old mattresses on the property.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    28,640
    Likes Received:
    3,475
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You should discuss the summons with your corporate counsel, or seek permission to hire counsel from your corporate management.
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,853
    Likes Received:
    254
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Who are "we" in this sentence? I assume you meant to say, "but the company is not the owner."

    Again, who are "we"? All you've told us that you are the general manager of a property management company, and it's probably reasonable to infer that your employer has a contract with the property owner relating to the management of the property (which is presumably rental property).

    No.

    You can ask anything of anyone.

    As the property manager, your company may very well be a proper defendant, even though your company doesn't own the property. In other words, while the allegation that your company is the property owner may well be in error, your company may still be a proper defendant. I suggest you contact your company's liability insurer immediately and request that the insurer confirm coverage and appoint an attorney to defend your company. I suggest you also review your contract with the property owner to determine if your company has any entitlement to indemnity and defense by the owner (although, in this sort of case, it may well be that your company would owe a duty to defend and indemnify the owner).
     
  4. TexasPropertyManager

    TexasPropertyManager Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thank you. Yes, "we" refers to the company. I do fully understand the company's fiduciary duty to the owner and there are indemnification clauses in the management agreement. My question was merely based on the technicality that the summons incorrectly listed the company as the owner of the property and I think you have answered that question.
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,536
    Likes Received:
    1,281
    Trophy Points:
    113
    As a management company acting on behalf of the owner I'd bet your company is properly listed on the summons.
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,853
    Likes Received:
    254
    Trophy Points:
    83
    If your company is not a proper defendant, then you may have grounds for a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment. Your company won't get out of the case simply by pointing out that it's not the property owner.

    P.S. A summons is merely a document by which the court acquires personal jurisdiction over a defendant. The allegations in the complaint are what matter.
     

Share This Page