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Board of Firemens Relief & Retirement Fund Trustees of Texarkana v. Hami
March 3, 1965
386 S.W.2d 754
Published Opinion

Board of Firemens Relief & Retirement Fund Trustees of Texarkana v. Hami

Supreme Court of Texas.



Ozella HAMILTON et al., Respondents.

No. A-10208.


Jan. 27, 1965.


Rehearing Denied March 3, 1965.

Attorneys & Firms

*754 Sidney Lee, Texarkana, for petitioner.

Friberg & Parish, Wichita Falls, for respondents.


HAMILTON, Justice.

This suit involves pension benefits claimed by a widow and minor daughter of a deceased fireman who was employed by the City of Texarkana, Texas, at the time of his death. The respondent, Mrs. Ozella Hamilton, filed a claim with the Board of Firemen’s Relief and Retirement Fund Trustees of Texarkana, Texas, hereinafter called Board of Trustees, seeking pension benefits as provided in 378 S.W.2d 361.

The Board of Trustees contended in both courts below, and contends here, that the Firemen’s Pension Commissioner had no appellate jurisdiction over the order of the Board of Trustees. We agree that *755 the Firemen’s Pension Commissioner was without jurisdiction in this matter, as was asserted in the dissenting opinion of the Court of Civil Appeals, which followed Hall v. Board of Firemen’s Relief, etc., 351 S.W.2d 342, Tex.Civ.App., no writ history. Our conclusion is based simply on the fact that the statute fails to provide for an administrative appeal in this situation.

Article 6243e a provision that the fireman himself if aggrieved by an order of the Board of Trustees could appeal. Such provision is in part as follows, to wit:

‘Sec. 18. Any person possessing the qualifications herein required for retirement for length of service or disability or having a claim for temporary disability who deems himself aggrieved by the decision or order of any Board of Trustees, whether because of rejection or the amount allowed, may appeal from the decision or order of such Board of Trustees to the Firemen’s Pension Commissioner * * *.’

Article 6243e provides for the office of Firemen’s Pension Commissioner and also provides that such Commissioner ‘* * * shall hear, determine, and/or review all appeals herein provided * * *.’

In one of respondent’s cross points in the Court of Civil Appeals she contends that since her claim for compensation as provided by statute involves a property right and that even though the statute made no provision for an appeal, that under the due process clauses of both the State and United States Constitutions she is entitled to an inherent right of appeal. We agree with the respondent on this proposition. This court has so held. City of Amarillo v. Hancock, 150 Tex. 231, 239 S.W.2d 788. We disagree, however, with the respondent in her contention that her right of appeal in this instance is to another administrative agency, to wit, the Firemen’s Pension Commissioner. What the Constitution guarantees her is a judicial review of an order of an administrative agency affecting her property rights. Such a review must be sought in a court of competent jurisdiction, not to some other administrative agency.

We reverse the judgments of the Court of Civil Appeals and the District Court and remand the cause to the trial court.

End of Document