Burns v. Harris Cty Bail Bond ( 1998 )


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  •                    United States Court of Appeals,
    
                                Fifth Circuit.
    
                                No. 96-20798.
    
                      Carol BURNS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
    
                                      v.
    
              HARRIS COUNTY BAIL BOND BOARD, Defendant-Appellee.
    
                               April 21, 1998.
    
    Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern
    District of Texas.
    
    Before KING and JONES, Circuit Judges, and KENDALL,1 District
    Judge.
    
         KENDALL, District Judge:
    
         Carol Burns appeals the district court's decision granting
    
    summary judgment to the Harris County Bail Bond Board on Burns's
    
    claims that the Board had violated her constitutional rights to due
    
    process and equal protection in its refusal to renew her licenses.
    
    We affirm the judgment of the district court.
    
                                I. BACKGROUND
    
         This case arises out of the defendant/appellee Harris County
    
    Bail Bond Board's ("the Board") decisions not to renew the bail
    
    bondsman's      property    license    and     agent    license    of
    
    plaintiff/appellant Carol Burns ("Burns").      Pursuant to the Texas
    
    Bail Bond Act, Tex.Civ.St.Ann. art. 2372p-3, the Board supervises
    
    and regulates all phases of the bail bonding business in Harris
    
    County.    No person may act as a bail bondsman in Harris County
    
    without a license issued by the Board.       Bail Bond Act § 3(a)(1).
    
    
        1
         District Judge of the Northern District of Texas, sitting by
    designation.
    The ten members of the Board, designated by statute, are:                       a
    
    district and a county court judge having jurisdiction over criminal
    
    matters, a justice of the peace, the presiding judge of the City of
    
    Houston's municipal court, the county judge or a member of the
    
    commissioners court designated by the county judge, the district
    
    attorney, the county sheriff, the district clerk, the county
    
    treasurer, and a licensed bail bondsman elected by other licensees.
    
    Bail Bond Act § 5(b).         The Board meets once each month to govern
    
    the execution of bail bonds in Harris County.                  Bail Bond Act §
    
    5(d).
    
         At issue are Burns's bail bondsman (property) license and
    
    agent license.     The statute requires that a property bondsman post
    
    collateral with the county to secure bonds written on the license.
    
    Bail Bond Act § 6(f).         A property bondsman may write bonds that
    
    total 10 times the amount of collateral.                  When that limit is
    
    reached, the bondsman's ability to write bonds must be temporarily
    
    suspended by the Board, without prior notice or hearing, until the
    
    value   of   the   collateral     is   increased     or   the   value    of    the
    
    outstanding bonds is decreased.         Bail Bond Act § 10(f).        The Board
    
    must revoke the license with prior notice or hearing if the
    
    licensee fails     to   pay    any   final   judgment     connected     with   the
    
    licensee's    bonding    business      within   30      days    and   there    is
    
    insufficient collateral to satisfy the final judgment.                Bail Bond
    
    Act § 9(b).
    
         In 1987 Burns applied to the Board for, and was granted, a
    
    bail bond license.      This license expires 24 months after the date
    
    of its issuance unless an application for renewal is granted by the
    Board.   Bail Bond Act § 8(a).      The Board renewed Burns's bail bond
    
    license in March 1989 and March 1991.       In December 1991 the Board
    
    issued the International Fidelity Insurance Company ("IFIC") a
    
    license to write bail bonds in Harris County, with Burns as IFIC's
    
    agent on the license.     The agent's license subjects the insurance
    
    company's rather than the agent's assets to liability to the State
    
    for bond forfeiture.
    
         On March 10, 1993, Burns appeared before the Board at its
    
    regular monthly meeting seeking the renewal of her bail bond
    
    license, which was to expire on March 21, 1993.                During the
    
    hearing, Burns conceded that she lived in Austin and only traveled
    
    to Harris County every two weeks to attend to the business of her
    
    bail bond company, she had failed to list in her application one of
    
    her contract employees, she failed to list her husband as an
    
    employee despite the fact that he handled many of the matters in
    
    the Houston office, and she had never dealt with certified mail
    
    containing information about final judgments and had no idea how
    
    those documents were handled.        Burns's husband, John Burns, had
    
    been a licensed bail bondsman in Harris County for a number of
    
    years, but   lost   his   license   when   he   accumulated   $479,000   in
    
    outstanding judgments that he owes to Harris County.           See Harris
    
    County Bail Bond Bd. v. Burns, 
    881 S.W.2d 61
    , 64 (Tex.App.—Houston
    
    [14th Dist.] 1994, writ denied) ("The facts presented by the Board
    
    did suggest that [Burns] had little involvement with her business
    
    and that John Burns for all practical purposes was operating under
    
    his wife's license.").
    
         Assistant City Attorneys Grace Loya and Robert Miklos and City
    Assistant Chief Clerk Mark Muellerweiss testified that Burns owed
    
    the   City   of    Houston    more    than    $45,000    in   outstanding          bond
    
    forfeiture judgments, and that Burns and her husband had known
    
    about them for more than a year but made no effort to resolve them.
    
    Board   chairman    Sheriff    Johnny      Klevenhagen      noted       that   Burns's
    
    license had been automatically suspended three days before that for
    
    exceeding her ratios by some $36,000.             Upon motion to renew Burns's
    
    license, there were three votes for and three votes against.
    
    Chairman Klevenhagen postponed Board action on Burns's renewal
    
    until the end of the meeting so that Burns could negotiate a
    
    payment schedule with the City.              After a break, the Board again
    
    voted three to three on the motion to renew Burns's license, and
    
    the motion failed for want of a majority.               Burns knew at that time
    
    that her license would not be renewed after its expiration a few
    
    days later.
    
          On March 11, 1993, Burns requested a copy of the transcript of
    
    the meeting from the Harris County District Clerk.                  By letter dated
    
    March 25, 1993, the Clerk informed Burns that an opinion had been
    
    requested    from   the   Texas      Attorney     General    as    to    whether    the
    
    transcript    of    the   March      10,   1993    meeting        was   exempt     from
    
    disclosure, so that the Clerk could not release the transcript to
    
    Burns at that time.
    
          In the meantime, on March 14, 1993, Burns filed suit in Harris
    
    County District Court to appeal the Board's decision as provided by
    
    the Texas Bail Bond Act.          On July 12, 1993 a trial de novo was
    
    conducted in the 127th Judicial District Court of Harris County by
    
    Judge Sharolyn Wood. On August 6, 1993, Judge Wood ordered Burns's
    renewal application be approved and her bail bond license be
    
    reinstated retroactive to March 21, 1993.       Burns resumed writing
    
    bail bonds on her license.      The Board timely filed a notice of
    
    appeal from this decision.
    
          On December 8, 1993 Burns appeared before the Bail Board
    
    concerning the renewal of her IFIC agent license.            Burns was
    
    represented by counsel at this hearing.     The Board determined that
    
    her   application   contained   several   deficiencies,   such   as   the
    
    omission of a collateral log, which pursuant to the Bail Bond Act
    
    must be submitted to the Board for inspection prior to renewal of
    
    a license.     Bail Bond Act § 4(b).      The Board did not vote on
    
    Burns's renewal application for the agent license that day, but
    
    postponed further action until the application's deficiencies were
    
    remedied.    Chairman Klevenhagen noted that the Board cannot act on
    
    an application that does not meet the statutory requirements.
    
    Burns never again submitted an application to the Board for the
    
    agent license, and it expired on December 21, 1993.
    
          On June 14, 1994, the Texas Court of Appeals, Fourteenth
    
    District, reversed Judge Wood's order that Burns's bail bond
    
    license be renewed.    The Court of Appeals held that the district
    
    court abused its discretion in granting Burns a license because at
    
    the time of trial Burns had an unpaid final judgment of $5,000 on
    
    a bond forfeiture which was more than 30 days old and was on appeal
    
    without a supersedeas bond.      The Court of Appeals concluded that
    
    Burns was in violation of section 9(b)(6) of the Bail Bond Act and
    
    that her application for renewal was properly denied by the Board.
    
          The Texas Supreme Court denied Burns's application for writ of
    error on February 8, 1995, and Burns filed a motion for rehearing.
    
    While that motion was pending before the Texas Supreme Court, on
    
    March 8, 1995 the Board considered Burns's application for a new
    
    bail bond license.    During the hearing, Burns and her lawyer were
    
    asked questions regarding whether the property she pledged as
    
    collateral was community or separate property.   They could provide
    
    no proof that the property was Burns's separate property, as
    
    required by section 6(a)(4)(E) of the Bail Bond Act.     The Board
    
    denied Burns's application for a new license by a 5-2 vote.   Burns
    
    had also applied to the Board to renew her previous bail bond
    
    license, but the Board chairman removed consideration of the
    
    renewal from the agenda because the Board maintained she had no
    
    license to renew.
    
         On March 15, 1995, Burns filed suit against the Bail Board in
    
    the 11th Judicial District Court of Harris County, appealing the
    
    Board's decision to deny her application for a new license at the
    
    March 1995 meeting.     The suit also alleged that the Board had
    
    violated her constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
    
    The Board timely removed the suit to the U.S. District Court for
    
    the Southern District of Texas.   The district court bifurcated the
    
    case and remanded the state law claims, retaining the claims
    
    pursuant to § 1983.      The issues remanded to state court were
    
    resolved on summary judgment against Burns, and that case is now on
    
    appeal.
    
         As for the claims in federal court, by Order entered July 25,
    
    1996, the district court granted the Board's motion to dismiss and
    
    for summary judgment.   The district court converted the motion to
    dismiss into a motion for summary judgment after Burns submitted
    
    numerous exhibits outside the pleadings in her response. Burns has
    
    appealed the district court's decision to grant summary judgment
    
    for the Board on all of her claims.
    
                          II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
    
          When matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not
    
    excluded by the district court, the district court must convert a
    
    motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
    
    12(b);   Flores v. Sullivan, 
    945 F.2d 109
    , 110 n. 3 (5th Cir.1991).
    
    The district court properly converted the Board's motion in this
    
    case. We review the granting of summary judgment de novo, applying
    
    the same criteria used by the district court.    Texas Medical Ass'n
    
    v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 
    80 F.3d 153
    , 156 (5th Cir.1996).     Summary
    
    judgment is proper when the pleadings and evidence illustrate that
    
    no genuine issue exists as to any material fact and that the movant
    
    is entitled to judgment or partial judgment as a matter of law.
    
    Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c);   Slaughter v. Southern Talc Co., 
    949 F.2d 167
    ,
    
    170 (5th Cir.1991).    When a movant properly supports his motion
    
    with competent evidence and demonstrated the absence of a genuine
    
    issue of material fact, the burden then shifts to the nonmovant to
    
    show that the entry of summary judgment is inappropriate.    Duckett
    
    v. City of Cedar Park, 
    950 F.2d 272
    , 276 (5th Cir.1992).     Factual
    
    controversies are resolved in favor of the nonmovant, but only when
    
    both parties have submitted evidence of contradictory facts, thus
    
    creating an actual controversy.    Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 
    37 F.3d 1069
    , 1075 (5th Cir.1994) (en banc).      In the absence of any
    
    proof, however, the Court does not assume that the nonmovant could
    or would prove the necessary facts.      Id.
    
                              III. DISCUSSION
    
         The issues Burns submits on appeal fall into three basic
    
    categories:    1)   Burns's   specific   challenges   to   the   Board's
    
    decisions of March 10, 1993, December 8, 1993, and March 8, 1995,
    
    2) Burns's general challenges to the Board's decisions, and 3) the
    
    issue of the Board's absolute immunity.
    
    1.A. Issues Specific to the March 10, 1993 Meeting
    
          Burns challenges on several grounds the granting of summary
    
    judgment as to the March 10, 1993 meeting in which the Board denied
    
    the renewal of her bail bond license.     Burns asserts that she was
    
    denied due process because the Board allowed presentation of
    
    charges of misconduct of which she had no notice, allowed unsworn
    
    and undocumented testimony to be considered, and denied renewal of
    
    her license by a tie vote.       Burns also claims that the Board
    
    violated her rights to due process by refusing her access to the
    
    record of the March 10, 1993 meeting.     Finally, Burns asserts that
    
    the Board violated her right to equal protection when it claimed
    
    that she was not entitled to license renewal because of a final
    
    judgment on a bond forfeiture on appeal, although it has renewed
    
    the licenses of other bondsmen in the same situation.
    
         The district court determined that all of Burns's claims with
    
    regard to the March 10, 1993 hearing were barred by the statute of
    
    limitations.   The applicable statute of limitations is the forum
    
    state's general personal injury limitations period, which is two
    
    years.   The cause of action would have accrued under federal law
    
    when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the injury that
    is the basis of the action.            Since Burns filed suit on March 14,
    
    1995, claims regarding any activity that occurred prior to March
    
    14, 1993 are barred by the statute of limitations.
    
         Although     Burns      concedes    that     the   two   year    statute    of
    
    limitations applies, she argues that the statute of limitations
    
    does not run until all of the elements of the claim are in place,
    
    so that her cause of action did not accrue until March 21, 1993,
    
    the date her license to write bail bonds expired.                Burns contends
    
    that actual injury is a necessary element of a claim, and that her
    
    legal injury was the denial of a property right without due
    
    process.    Although the "without due process" component occurred on
    
    March 10, 1993, the denial of the property right did not occur
    
    until March 21, 1993.
    
         We conclude that the district court correctly applied the law
    
    in determining that Burns's claims regarding the March 10, 1993
    
    Board meeting are barred by the statute of limitations.                    As no
    
    federal statute of limitations exists for § 1983 actions, federal
    
    courts    defer   to   the     forum    state's     general    personal    injury
    
    limitations period.         Owens v. Okure, 
    488 U.S. 235
    , 249-50, 
    109 S. Ct. 573
    , 581-82, 
    102 L. Ed. 2d 594
     (1989);                    Flores v. Cameron
    
    County, Tex., 
    92 F.3d 258
    , 271 (5th Cir.1996).                   In Texas, the
    
    applicable    period   is    two   years.       Tex.Civ.Prac.     &   Rem.Code   §
    
    16.003(a).
    
             Although Texas law governs the limitations period, federal
    
    law governs when a cause of action accrues.               Jackson v. Johnson,
    
    
    950 F.2d 263
    , 265 (5th Cir.1992);           Piotrowski v. City of Houston,
    
    
    51 F.3d 512
    , 516 n. 10 (5th Cir.1995).             Under federal law, a cause
    of action accrues "when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know
    
    of the injury which is the basis of the action."                 Burrell v.
    
    Newsome, 
    883 F.2d 416
    , 418 (5th Cir.1989);        Gartrell v. Gaylor, 
    981 F.2d 254
    , 257 (5th Cir.1993).         We affirmed the district court in
    
    Brossette    v.   City   of   Baton    Rouge,    
    837 F. Supp. 759
    ,   762
    
    (M.D.La.1993), aff'd, 
    29 F.3d 623
     (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 
    513 U.S. 971
    , 
    115 S. Ct. 443
    , 
    130 L. Ed. 2d 353
     (1994), wherein the
    
    district court held that the plaintiff's § 1983 cause of action for
    
    suspension of his liquor license accrued on the day he received
    
    notice of the suspension.      Identical circumstances are presented
    
    here.
    
         Burns cannot salvage her time-barred claims by contending that
    
    they did not accrue until she actually lost her bail bond license
    
    eleven days after the Board meeting.            Burns was present at the
    
    March 10, 1993 Board meeting and was put on notice that day that
    
    her license would not be renewed.         All of her claims concerning
    
    this Board meeting arise from the Board's rejection of her renewal
    
    application on March 10, 1993, not from the expiration of her
    
    license by operation of law on March 21, 1993.         Burns's claims were
    
    not timely filed, and the district court properly dismissed them.
    
    1.B. Issues Specific to the December 8, 1993 Meeting
    
            Burns challenges the granting of summary judgment in favor of
    
    the Board with respect to the Board's December 8, 1993 meeting,
    
    when it postponed a vote on the renewal of Burns's license to act
    
    as an agent for IFIC.     Burns contends that the Board violated her
    
    due process rights when it refused to allow her a hearing on her
    
    renewal application for the agent's license, and that she received
    no proper notice before her property right to this license was
    
    withdrawn.    In addition, Burns argues that as a matter of law she
    
    was not required to appeal to state court the Board's refusal to
    
    allow her a hearing, because any appeal to the state court would
    
    have not remedied the due process violations committed by the
    
    Board, as there is no remedy for the amount of time she was out of
    
    business.
    
           The district court determined that, as Burns never appealed
    
    the Board's decision to table the consideration of her IFIC agent
    
    license     renewal    application,     Burns    did   not    exhaust     her
    
    administrative remedies.        Burns cannot argue that her due process
    
    rights were violated when she skipped an available state remedy.
    
    The district court noted that if, as Burns argued, she did not have
    
    standing to appeal the Board's decision, she certainly would not
    
    have   standing   to   assert   a   civil   rights   claim   based   on   that
    
    decision.
    
           We conclude that the district court correctly granted summary
    
    judgment for the Board on Burns's claims concerning the December 8,
    
    1993 Board meeting. Despite the Board's invitation to do so, Burns
    
    never subsequently appeared before the Board to seek approval of a
    
    corrected IFIC agent license application. In addition, Burns chose
    
    not to exercise her right to appeal the Board's decision to table
    
    a vote on her application.
    
           The Texas Bail Bond Act provides that an appeal may be taken
    
    from an adverse decision by the Board within 30 days by filing a
    
    petition in district court in the county in which the license is
    
    issued or refused.     The appeal is by trial de novo, and the Board's
    decision has full force and effect pending the determination of the
    
    appeal.   Bail Bond Act § 11.        Burns was unquestionably familiar
    
    with this appellate process, as by December 8, 1993 she had already
    
    appealed the Board's decision of March 10, 1993 denying the renewal
    
    of her bail bond license.     As the district court noted, a plaintiff
    
    cannot argue that her due process rights have been violated when
    
    she has failed to utilize the state remedies available to her.
    
    Myrick v. City of Dallas, 
    810 F.2d 1382
    , 1388 (5th Cir.1987);
    
    Browning v. City of Odessa, 
    990 F.2d 842
    , 845 n. 7 (5th Cir.1993).
    
    1.C. Issue Specific to the March 8, 1995 Meeting
    
          Finally, Burns challenges the granting of summary judgment
    
    with respect to the Board's March 8, 1995 meeting, claiming that
    
    the Board violated Burns's rights to due process when it refused to
    
    consider her application to renew her bail bond license.                The
    
    district court found no due process violation in the Board's
    
    refusal to consider Burns's application.             Burns had applied to
    
    renew her license on the basis of Judge Wood's 1993 decision to
    
    reinstate the license.      That decision had already been reversed on
    
    appeal by the Texas Court of Appeals, the writ of error had been
    
    denied by the Texas Supreme Court, and all that remained of the
    
    appeals process was a decision by the Texas Supreme Court on
    
    whether or not to grant a rehearing.      The district court noted that
    
    the Board's   March   10,    1993   rejection   of   her   license   renewal
    
    application had full force and effect pending the determination of
    
    Burns's appeal.   Bail Bond Act § 11.      Burns contends that she had
    
    a property right in the bail bond license because once Judge Wood
    
    had tried her appeal of the Board's decision and issued the
    license, the Board's decision had no further effect.
    
         We find Burns's claim to be contrary to the plain language of
    
    the Bail Bond Act.    Burns had no property interest in a bail bond
    
    license on March 8, 1995—she had no valid license on that date.   By
    
    that time, the Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth District had
    
    reversed Judge Wood's reinstatement of Burns's license, Harris
    
    County Bail Bond Bd. v. Burns, 881 S.W.2d at 64, and the Texas
    
    Supreme Court had denied a writ of error.        The only potential
    
    circumstance that could abrogate the full force and effect of the
    
    Board's decision would be the grant of a rehearing and subsequent
    
    reversal by the Texas Supreme Court, a circumstance which was a
    
    long shot at best and indeed never occurred.2    The fact that Burns
    
    previously held a property license (which had expired some two
    
    years earlier) is insufficient to create a property interest
    
    entitled to due process protection in March 1995.    Smith v. Travis
    
    County Bail Bond Bd., 
    559 S.W.2d 693
    , 694 (Tex.Civ.App.—Austin
    
    1977, no writ) (applicant whose license had expired had no property
    
    right subject to protection because he had no claim of entitlement
    
    to a bail bond license).
    
    2. General Challenges to the Board's Decisions
    
             Burns also challenges the granting of summary judgment for
    
    the Board on several general grounds.      Burns contends that the
    
    Board violated her rights by participating in a conspiracy to put
    
    her out of business for illegal motivations.     Burns asserts that
    
    the Board is liable for actions of its individual members when the
    
    
         2
          The Texas Supreme Court denied Burns's motion for rehearing
    on March 23, 1995, fifteen days after this Board meeting.
    actions of those members represent action by the Board. Burns also
    
    asserts that the notice that a meeting will be held and publication
    
    of a statute are inadequate notice that a property right will be
    
    taken away.
    
         The district court held that the Board can only be held liable
    
    for the acts committed by the entity as a whole, and only for
    
    actions taken in its monthly meetings.     The separate actions of
    
    individual members of the Board are insufficient to bind the Board
    
    as a governmental entity.   Thus, Burns's allegations of conspiracy
    
    and other wrongdoing by a few members as individuals do not give
    
    rise to a viable claim under § 1983.         As for the claim of
    
    inadequate notice, the district court concluded that Burns was
    
    afforded adequate and timely notice of the Board hearings in
    
    compliance with due process standards.
    
         Burns contends that three unnamed individual members of the
    
    Board conspired to put her out of business because her husband owed
    
    a substantial amount in bond forfeiture judgments incurred on his
    
    license.   She contends that the Board is indeed liable for the
    
    actions of its individual members (conspiracy, failure to provide
    
    her with a transcript, notifying the state court of appeals that
    
    Burns had a final judgment on a bond forfeiture on appeal) when
    
    those actions represent actions by the Board.       Finally, Burns
    
    argues that notice that a meeting will be held and publication of
    
    a statute are inadequate notice in this case that a property right
    
    will be taken because the Board could provide more specific notice.
    
          Considering first the conspiracy and Board liability claims,
    
    we note that Burns sued the Board, not the members individually.
    A conspiracy necessarily involves two or more persons;                          it is
    
    elementary    that     an    entity    cannot    conspire      with   itself.     See
    
    Hilliard v. Ferguson, 
    30 F.3d 649
    , 653 (5th Cir.1994) (a school
    
    board and its employees constitute a single legal entity which is
    
    incapable of conspiring with itself). The district court correctly
    
    determined that the separate actions of individual members of the
    
    Board are not sufficient to bind the Board as an entity.                          Bee
    
    County v. Roberts, 
    437 S.W.2d 62
    , 64 (Tex.Civ.App.—Corpus Christi
    
    1968,    no   writ);         Rowan     v.   Pickett,     
    237 S.W.2d 734
    ,    738
    
    (Tex.Civ.App.—San Antonio 1951, no writ).                 Pursuant to the Bail
    
    Bond Act, the Board can take action only when a quorum of four
    
    members is present.         Bail Bond Act § 5(d).         A governmental entity
    
    cannot be held vicariously liable for the alleged constitutional
    
    wrongs of its employees, and is only liable when it can be fairly
    
    said that the entity itself is the wrongdoer.                   Collins v. City of
    
    Harker Heights, 
    503 U.S. 115
    , 121-22, 
    112 S. Ct. 1061
    , 1066-67, 
    117 L. Ed. 2d 261
     (1992).
    
            As for Burns's challenge to the notice provided her by the
    
    Board, in     essence       Burns    asks   us   to   insert    additional      notice
    
    provisions into the Bail Bond Act not contemplated by the Texas
    
    Legislature.     Procedural due process consists of notice and the
    
    opportunity to be heard.            Cleveland Bd. of Educ. v. Loudermill, 
    470 U.S. 532
    , 542, 
    105 S. Ct. 1487
    , 1493, 
    84 L. Ed. 2d 494
     (1985).                       Due
    
    process "requires only notice that is both adequate to apprise a
    
    party of the pendency of an action affecting its rights and timely
    
    enough to allow the party to present its objections."                     Matter of
    
    Christopher, 
    28 F.3d 512
    , 519 (5th Cir.1994).
           The Board provided notice in accordance with the Texas Open
    
    Meetings Act, Tex.Gov't Code § 551.001.            Notice is given in
    
    compliance with due process standards simply by the publication of
    
    a statute.   Breath v. Cronvich, 
    729 F.2d 1006
    , 1011 (5th Cir.),
    
    cert. denied, 
    469 U.S. 934
    , 
    105 S. Ct. 332
    , 
    83 L. Ed. 2d 268
     (1984).
    
    Persons asserting a property right, as Burns does in her bail bond
    
    license,   are   charged   with   knowledge   of   relevant   statutory
    
    provisions affecting the control or disposition of that property.
    
    Id.   We conclude that the district court correctly determined that
    
    Burns received adequate and timely notice under the Bail Bond Act.
    
    3. Absolute Immunity of the Board
    
          The district court determined that the Board was entitled to
    
    absolute immunity with respect to rejecting or revoking Burns's
    
    licenses. As the foregoing discussion has resolved each of Burns's
    
    claims, we need not reach this issue, and we decline to do so.
    
                                IV. CONCLUSION
    
          For the foregoing reasons, the district court's award of
    
    summary judgment to the Harris County Bail Bond Board on the merits
    
    of the claims brought by Carol Burns is AFFIRMED.
    

Document Info

DocketNumber: 96-20798

Filed Date: 5/6/1998

Precedential Status: Precedential

Modified Date: 12/21/2014

Authorities (23)

Hilliard v. Ferguson , 30 F.3d 649 ( 1994 )

Piotrowski v. City of Houston , 51 F.3d 512 ( 1995 )

Texas Medical Ass'n v. Aetna Life Ins. Co. , 80 F.3d 153 ( 1996 )

Cleveland Bd. of Ed. v. Loudermill , 470 U.S. 532 ( 1985 )

Owens v. Okure , 488 U.S. 235 ( 1989 )

Collins v. Harker Heights , 503 U.S. 115 ( 1992 )

gerard-o-breath-individually-dba-the-roach-coach-and-on-behalf-of-all , 729 F.2d 1006 ( 1984 )

Billye Myrick v. City of Dallas , 810 F.2d 1382 ( 1987 )

Ellis D. Burrell v. Jimmy Newsome, Chief of Police, Port ... , 883 F.2d 416 ( 1989 )

Lazaro E. Flores v. Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., Secretary of ... , 945 F.2d 109 ( 1991 )

Gerald S. Slaughter, Roma S. Bates v. Southern Talc Company , 949 F.2d 167 ( 1991 )

Gilbert Jackson v. Howard Johnson, Dallas Police Officer , 950 F.2d 263 ( 1992 )

william-l-duckett-v-the-city-of-cedar-park-texas-dianne-newsom-as , 950 F.2d 272 ( 1992 )

William Hamilton Gartrell v. R.S. Gaylor , 981 F.2d 254 ( 1993 )

Fred Browning v. City of Odessa, Texas , 990 F.2d 842 ( 1993 )

In the Matter of Charles Simpson Christopher, Debtor. Sequa ... , 28 F.3d 512 ( 1994 )

Brossette v. City of Baton Rouge , 29 F.3d 623 ( 1994 )

prodliabrep-cch-p-14081-wilma-little-v-liquid-air-corporation , 37 F.3d 1069 ( 1994 )

Natalia Flores v. Cameron County, Texas, Cameron County, ... , 92 F.3d 258 ( 1996 )

Harris County Bail Bond Bd. v. Burns , 881 S.W.2d 61 ( 1994 )

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