Appeal from the 259th District Court Jones County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 023532
consists of: Wright, C.J., Willson, J., and Bailey, J.
WRIGHT CHIEF JUSTICE
Mario Patterson, is currently incarcerated at the Robertson
Unit of the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice, which is located in Jones County. Appearing
pro se and in forma pauperis, Appellant challenges
the trial court's order in which it dismissed his suit as
frivolous for failure to comply with Chapter Fourteen of the
Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. We affirm.
February 18, 2015, Appellant filed the underlying action
against Warden Ronald Fox, Property Officer Crystal Reyes,
and Officer "John Doe." Appellant alleged that that
on July 16, 2014, "John Doe" did a cell search and
took the following: "1 green mug, 1 white mug, 1 tea box
'new', 6 white shoe laces, 1 watch, 1 [pair of] New
Balance Shoes." Appellant further claimed that, after
the search, Officer Doe did not give him confiscation
paperwork. Appellant asserted that Officer Doe committed
trespass to personal property, conversion, and theft of
personal property. Appellant also sued Fox and Reyes because
he believed that they had the power to give the property back
but had not done so. Appellant alleged that all Appellees
committed intentional infliction of emotional distress and
that they inflicted mental anguish against him. The
attorney general filed an amicus curiae advisory with the
trial court in which he alleged that Appellant had not
complied with Chapter Fourteen of the Civil Practice and
review a trial court's dismissal of an inmate's suit
under Chapter Fourteen for abuse of discretion. See
Wilson v. TDCJ-ID, 268 S.W.3d 756, 758 (Tex. App.- Waco
2008, no pet.); Bishop v. Lawson, 131 S.W.3d 571,
574 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2004, pet. denied); Thompson v.
Tex. Dep't of Criminal Justice-Inst. Div., 33 S.W.3d
412, 414 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2000, pet. denied). A
trial court abuses its discretion if it acts in an arbitrary
or unreasonable manner without reference to guiding rules or
principles. Garcia v. Martinez, 988 S.W.2d 219, 222
(Tex. 1999). When we review matters committed to the trial
court's discretion, we may not substitute our own
judgment for that of the trial court. Walker v.
Packer, 827 S.W.2d 833, 839 (Tex. 1992).
filed a Step 1 grievance on July 29, 2014. The warden found
that the confiscated property was contraband. He stated that
the property would not be returned and that no further action
was warranted. Appellant then filed a Step 2 grievance on
October 27, 2014. On January 2, 2015,  the Assistant
Regional Director found that the "items were examined
and deemed to have been altered. There was no evidence found
to support [Appellant's] allegation of staff misconduct
or that staff acted inappropriate[ly]." Again, no
further action was warranted.
Fourteen of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code
applies to lawsuits filed by an inmate in a district court,
county court, justice of the peace court, or small claims
court where the inmate files an affidavit or unsworn
declaration of an inability to pay costs. See Tex.
Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 14.002(a) (West 2017).
The legislature enacted Chapter Fourteen to control the flood
of frivolous lawsuits being filed in Texas courts by prison
inmates because these suits consume many valuable judicial
resources with little offsetting benefits. Bishop,
131 S.W.3d at 574. Chapter Fourteen sets forth procedural
requirements an inmate must satisfy as a prerequisite to
filing suit. See Civ. Prac. & Rem. §§
14.002, 14.004-.006; see also Lilly v. Northrep, 100
S.W.3d 335, 336 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 2002, pet. denied).
14.005(b) provides that "[a] court shall dismiss a claim
if the inmate fails to file the claim before the 31st day
after the date the inmate receives the written decision from
the grievance system." Civ. Prac. & Rem. §
14.005(b). A suit that is not timely filed pursuant to
Section 14.005(b) is barred and may be dismissed with
prejudice. Ellis v. TDCJ, No. 11-12-00298-CV, 2015
WL 581635, at *2 (Tex. App.-Eastland Feb. 5, 2015, no pet.)
(mem. op.); Moreland v. Johnson, 95 S.W.3d 392, 395
(Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2002, no pet.).
filed this lawsuit on February 18, 2015, 47 days after the
Step 2 grievance was signed, dated, and returned. Appellant
should have filed the lawsuit by February 2, 2015.
See Civ. Prac. & Rem. § 14.005(b).
Accordingly, we cannot say that the trial court abused its
discretion when it dismissed Appellant's lawsuit.
Appellant's sole issue on appeal is overruled.
affirm the order of the trial court.
We note that the Step 2 grievance form
was dated by the Assistant Regional Director as "January
2, 2014." However, the Step 2 grievance form was not
filed by Appellant until October 27, 2014, and after an
extension, was due by January 5, 2015. Consequently, we
believe the ...