Appeal from the 113th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2015-52163
consists of Chief Justice Frost and Justices Jamison and
Steven Moody, an inmate, appeals the trial court's order
dismissing appellant's underlying civil action for
failure to post security in accordance with the court's
order. In this appeal, appellant filed a motion
to proceed without payment of costs. We conclude that
appellant has failed to comply with the requirements of
Chapter 14 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code and
therefore we dismiss his appeal without reaching the merits
of his challenge to the trial court's dismissal.
this case involves a suit brought by an inmate in a district
court in which the inmate filed an affidavit or unsworn
declaration of inability to pay costs, the action is governed
by Chapter 14 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §
14.002(a) (West 2017). The requirements of Chapter 14 apply
to actions filed in an appellate court. See Tex.
Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 14.002(a). see
Douglas v. Moffett, 418 S.W.3d 336, 339 (Tex. App.-
Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no pet.)
an inmate litigant files an affidavit or unsworn declaration
of inability to pay costs, Chapter 14 requires the inmate to
file an additional affidavit or declaration setting forth
specific details on all previous actions filed pro se, other
than a suit brought under the Texas Family Code."
Id. at 339 (citing Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code
Ann. § 14.004(a)); see also Douglas v. Porter,
No. 14- 10-00055-CV, 2011 WL 1601292, at *2-3 (Tex.
App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Apr. 26, 2011, pet. denied). This
additional affidavit or unsworn declaration must be
accompanied by a certified copy of the inmate's
"trust account statement." Tex. Civ. Prac. &
Rem. Code Ann. §§ 14.004(c), 14.006(f) (West 2017).
filings required under [C]hapter 14 are 'an essential
part of the process by which courts review inmate
litigation.'" Douglas v. Turner, 441 S.W.3d
337, 339 (Tex. App.-Waco 2013, no pet.) (quoting Hickson
v. Moya, 926 S.W.2d 397, 399 (Tex. App.-Waco 1996, no
writ)). Failure to file the required affidavit or declaration
of previous filings or the inmate trust account statement can
result in dismissal of the appeal. See Moffett, 418
S.W.3d at 340. When the inmate fails to comply with the
affidavit requirements, the court may assume that the current
action is substantially similar to one previously filed by
the inmate and is frivolous. Id.
appeal, appellant filed an affidavit of inability to pay
costs. Appellant, however, did not file a certified copy of
his inmate trust account statement with his affidavit of
inability to pay costs, nor did he file an additional
affidavit or declaration relating to previous filings.
April 27, 2017, notification was transmitted to the parties
of this court's intention to dismiss the appeal unless
appellant complied with Chapter 14 on or before May 8, 2017.
See Tex. R. App. P. 42.3(a). After being notified
that this appeal was subject to dismissal unless he fulfilled
all of the missing Chapter 14 requirements, appellant filed
an affidavit regarding previous filings, but failed to file a
copy of his trust account statement.
Nonstop Bail Bonds, Lafayette Taylor, and Financial Casualty
and Security, Inc. filed a response to appellant's
affidavit of previous filings and, alternatively, a motion to
dismiss the appeal. These appellees listed four previous
filings that were omitted from appellant's affidavit
regarding previous filings. Appellant did not reply to
inmate fails to provide a complete affidavit as required by
section 14.004(a), a court is entitled to assume that the
current action is substantially similar to a previous suit
filed by the inmate and, therefore, subject to dismissal
under section 14.003(a)(2) as frivolous. Moffett,
418 S.W.3d at 340; see Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem.
Code Ann. § 14.003(a)(2), (b)(4). Appellant's
incomplete affidavit of previous filings does not describe
the operative facts for which he sought relief, nor does it
include all previous filings. See Tex. Civ. Prac.
& Rem. Code Ann. § 14.004(a)(2)(A). Moreover,
appellant failed to comply with chapter 14 by filing a copy
of his inmate trust account statement.
failed to comply with the requirements of chapter 14 after
having been given an opportunity to cure the defects We grant
appellees' motion and dismiss this appeal. See Foster
v. West, 514 S.W.3d 887 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2017, no
pet.); Dunsmore v. Barrow, No. 14-15-00572-CV, 2015
WL 7258506, at *2 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Nov. 17,
2015, no pet.) (mem. op.).