Texas Supreme Court Rules on the Lee Mandamus
Last week, the Texas Supreme Court ruled on the Lee mandamus, stating that a mediated settlement agreement must be upheld against a broad best interest inquiry. The majority opinion states:
“If a mediated settlement agreement meets [certain requirements], a party is entitled to judgment on the mediated settlement agreement notwithstanding… another rule of law.” TEX. FAM. CODE § 153.0071(e) (emphasis added). We are called upon today to determine whether a trial court abuses its discretion in refusing to enter judgment on a statutorily compliant mediated settlement agreement (MSA) based on an inquiry into whether the MSA was in a child’s best interest. We hold that this language means what it says: a trial court may not deny a motion to enter judgment on a properly executed MSA on such grounds. Accordingly, we conditionally grant the writ of mandamus.
In layperson’s terms, this means that a mediation settlement agreement must be upheld against broad best interest inquiries, unless the child’s welfare is in jeopardy.
The purpose of the ruling is to ensure the mediation process and its benefits are preserved, and, most importantly, children are protected.
To read the majority opinions, click the links below:
To read the dissenting opinion, click here: LeeDissent