Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler
FROM THE 3RD JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT HOUSTON COUNTY, TEXAS
consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.
T. WORTHEN CHIEF JUSTICE.
Kent Duckett appeals from the trial court's dismissal of
his civil suit against the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice-Correctional Institutions Division (TDCJ-CID). The
dismissal was rendered pursuant to Chapter Fourteen of the
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Duckett raises two
issues on appeal. We affirm.
an inmate, claims that he was injured on December 27, 2016,
while working in the prison kitchen. A few days later,
Duckett filed a Step 1 Offender Grievance Form with TDCJ-CID.
According to Duckett's grievance, he was "attempting
to place food in inserts into the warming table when [his]
finger got caught in between the insert and warming table,
" which broke his right index finger. Duckett complained
that neither an officer nor supervisor was present when his
injury occurred and that he had not been properly trained to
perform his work duties. According to Duckett, the negligent
training and supervision violated TDCJ-CID's policies. He
further alleged that the kitchen does not provide warming
gloves with which he is to handle food. Duckett also
complained that he received inadequate medical treatment
following his initial hospital visit. His grievance requested
"proper training and proper treatment and therapy."
In response to his grievance, TDCJ-CID told Duckett that he
had been trained to work in the food service department and
that it was his job to take proper safety precautions while
with the response, Duckett filed his Step 2 Offender
Grievance Form with TDCJ-CID. Duckett again claimed that he
was not properly supervised. However, for the first time, he
claimed that he should "have been provided adequate
tangible personal property (insert) that was not cracked,
bent up and having jagged edges." He further complained
that "the kitchen does not provide (insert replacement
protector) to remove or replace the (hot) food inserts, nor
are we provided (warming gloves)."
then brought a pro se in forma pauperis suit as an indigent
inmate alleging violations of the Texas Tort Claims Act
(TTCA). According to Duckett's petition, a TDCJ-CID
employee was negligent in furnishing him with "Defective
Inadequate tangible Personal Property (Defective Insert) and
(Insert Replacement Protector)" and the employees failed
to comply with TDCJ-CID safety policies. Duckett further
alleged that TDCJ-CID breached its duty when its employees
failed to follow TDCJ-CID policies and procedures.
did not answer the suit. Acting sua sponte, the trial court
dismissed Duckett's case without prejudice under Chapter
Fourteen of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. The
order of dismissal states the following:
On April 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed Civil Rights Lawsuit,
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983. It is obvious to the
Court that this civil action is not brought under the Family
Code and is a cause of action governed by Chapter 14 of the
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
The Court finds  all claims to be frivolous or malicious.
first issue, Appellant argues the trial court abused its
discretion when it dismissed his suit. In his second issue,
Appellant contends the trial court erred when it
mischaracterized his suit as a civil ...