In Wheatley v. Farley, a trial court entered an order awarding relief to both parties, and both parties appealed. No. 08-18-00106-CV, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 4626 (Tex. App.—El Paso June 5, 2019, no pet. history). One party was a dependent administrator, and the trial court ruled that he did not have to post a supersedeas bond to stay execution of the judgment. The court of appeals affirmed this ruling:
Section 351.002 provides that an appeal bond is not required if an appeal is taken by an executor or administrator, unless the appeal personally concerns the executor or administrator. Tex. Estates Code Ann. § 351.002(a), (b). Wheatley argues that an “appeal bond” is not the same as a “supersedeas bond,” and therefore, Section 351.002 does not operate to excuse Farley from the requirement that he post a supersedeas bond to suspend the judgment pending appeal. We agree with Wheatley that an appeal bond and a supersedeas bond are two different types of bonds and they serve different functions. Nevertheless, as seen in the Supreme Court’s decision in Ammex Warehouse Co. v. Archer, 381 S.W.2d 478, 480-82 (Tex. 1964), the exemption of executors and administrators from the requirement that they give security for costs on appeal is significant in determining whether they are required to post a supersedeas bond.
We recognize that Section 351.002 refers to “appeal bond” rather than the more general term “bond” that appeared in the predecessor statute, but it was well understood that Article 2276 concerned the requirement that the appellant give security for costs on appeal by filing an appeal bond. We hold that when an executor or administrator of an estate appeals, he or she is not required to post a supersedeas bond unless the appeal personally concerns the executor or administrator. The Probate Court’s order does not expressly state whether the appeal personally concerns Farley, but the record reflects that Farley is a court-appointed administrator who has no personal interest in the estate. Consequently, Farley is not required to post a supersedeas bond to suspend the judgment and his filing of a notice of appeal operated to suspend the judgment.
Id. (citing In re Shore, 106 S.W.3d 817, 821 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2003, orig. proceeding) and Vineyard v. Irvin, 855 S.W.2d 208, 212 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi-Edinburg 1993, orig. proceeding)).
Interesting Note: Unless a judgment is superseded, a judgment creditor can collect on the judgment pending an appeal. If the judgment debtor wants to stop the creditor from collecting on the judgment pending an appeal, the judgment debtor generally should post a supersedeas bond. Supersedeas bonds can be expensive and can be difficult to obtain. The holding above is a good holding for any estate representative faced with the task of appealing a judgment. It means that an estate can appeal an adverse judgment without the expense and hassle of obtaining a bond.
This holding is not good news for a judgment creditor, who may face the dissipation of assets by an estate. Without the filing of a supersedeas bond, the judgment creditor has no protection that at the end of the case, when all appeals are completed, that it will have assets to collect. Therefore, judgment creditors in this situation should consider seeking an injunction in the trial court to stop any dissipation of assets while the appeal is pending. The Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure expressly allow trial courts to grant that type of temporary relief pending an appeal to prevent the unfairness that may arise from allowing a judgment debtor to operate as normal without the filing of a supersedeas bond.