Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Morgan v. Harris

Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana

March 23, 2017

LARRY JOE MORGAN, Appellant
v.
WILLIAM S. HARRIS, Appellee

          Submitted: February 14, 2017

         On Appeal from the 48th District Court Tarrant County, Texas Trial Court No. 048-284616-16

          Before Morriss, C.J., Moseley and Burgess, JJ.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Josh R. Morriss, III Chief Justice

The 48th Judicial District Court in Tarrant County[1] dismissed inmate Larry Joe Morgan's civil action numbered 048-284616-16 that had been filed against his former criminal appellate attorney, William S. Harris.[2] The trial court's subsequent findings of facts and conclusions of law detailed that the action had been dismissed on the bases (a) that Morgan failed to comply with the affidavit requirements of Chapter 14 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, (b) that Morgan's claims were frivolous because they were substantially similar to at least two previous lawsuits Morgan had filed against Harris, and (c) that they were frivolous because they had no arguable basis in law and/or fact.

         On appeal, Morgan contends that the trial court erred (a) in dismissing his suit without first allowing him an opportunity to amend, (b) in denying his demand for a jury trial, and (c) in denying his motion for disclosure and his requests for production and inspection. We affirm the trial court's order of dismissal because (1) Morgan has failed to challenge on appeal two independent reasons for dismissal and (2) Morgan was not entitled to a jury trial or discovery.[3]

         A little background is in order.

          After Morgan had been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, he had fully exhausted his appeals from that conviction, and his application for a writ of habeas corpus had been denied, [4] he then began to seek satisfaction against his appellate counsel Harris through civil actions.

         In January 2016, Morgan filed a civil lawsuit against Harris in the 236th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, asserting claims for fraud, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, collusion, and conspiracy, all stemming from Harris's court-appointed legal representation of him on appeal of his conviction.

         Morgan also filed a lawsuit against Harris in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, in a case styled cause number 4:14-CV-537-A; Larry Joe Morgan v. Tarrant County Fort Worth, et al., wherein Morgan complained of the same alleged actions or failures by Harris during his legal representation of Morgan, but couched them as federal civil-rights claims, which the federal district court dismissed with prejudice. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (West, Westlaw through P.L. 114-327).

          In March 2016, Morgan filed this lawsuit in the 48th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, and in this suit stated essentially the same claims as were asserted in his prior Tarrant County lawsuit. As stated above, the trial court dismissed the lawsuit because: (a) Morgan's affidavit did not meet the legal requirements, (b) Morgan's claims were frivolous as duplicating prior claims, and (c) they were frivolous as lacking a basis in law or fact.

         (1) Morgan Has Failed to Challenge on Appeal Two Independent Reasons for Dismissal

         Before the dismissal of this lawsuit, Morgan had attempted to cure his Chapter 14[5] affidavit by filing an amended affidavit with his first amended petition. Morgan argues that the trial court erred in dismissing his lawsuit without first allowing him an opportunity to amend his pleading.

         The problem with Morgan's argument is that he fails to challenge two other ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.