In In re Green, a beneficiary filed suit against a trustee for breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of corporate funds. No. 08-16-00233-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12830 (Tex. App.—El Paso December 2, 2016, original proceeding). The defendant filed a motion to transfer venue and filed an affidavit where he “averred that he had never managed the testamentary trusts from an office located in Crane County, and he presented evidence showing that he had administered the trust from his business office located at 418 N. Texas Avenue, Odessa, Texas.” He also showed that the address on the checking account for the trusts was in Odessa, Texas. He also received correspondence at this same address in his capacity as trustee.
The court of appeals granted mandamus relief. “Under Section 15.0642 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a party may file a petition for writ of mandamus to enforce a mandatory-venue provision. Because Section 115.002 of the Texas Property Code is a mandatory-venue statute, it is enforceable by mandamus, and Green is not required to show that appeal is an inadequate remedy.” The trustee relied on Section 115.002(b)(2) of the Texas Property Code that provides: “(b) If there is a single, noncorporate trustee, an action shall be brought in the county in which: … (2) the situs of administration of the trust is maintained or has been maintained at any time during the four-year period preceding the date the action is filed.” Id. (citing Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 115.002(b)).
The Property Code defines “situs of administration” as meaning the location where the trustee maintains the office that is primarily responsible for dealing with the settlor and beneficiaries of the trust. The court held that:
Under this definition, the evidence that the will was probated in Crane County is irrelevant. Likewise, the evidence relied on by the Real Parties in Interest showing that National Foundry is located in Crane County does not support the trial court’s denial of the motion to transfer venue because there is no evidence that Green dealt with the trust beneficiaries primarily at this location. As president of National Foundry, Green dealt with the company business at this location, but it is speculative to assume that he also dealt with the trust beneficiaries from this office. This is especially true since Green presented evidence showing that he dealt with the trust beneficiaries primarily from his business office in Odessa. Based on the evidence presented, Green showed that venue is proper in Ector County.
Id. The court granted mandamus relief.