Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo
Appeal from the 12th District Court Walker County, Texas
Trial Court No. 1728482, Honorable Donald L. Kraemer,
QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PARKER, JJ.
C. Parker Justice.
Troy Wigley appeals the trial court's order dismissing
his suit as frivolous and for failure to comply with Chapter
14 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. We affirm.
a Texas prison inmate proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed suit against two Texas Department of
Criminal Justice employees on October 19, 2017. According to
Wigley, he completed five independent study program courses
and earned five hours of transferable college credits while
he was confined in the TDCJ and, as a result, he is entitled
to additional good conduct time credits. Wigley alleges
that the defendant prison officials unfairly denied the good
conduct time credits due him because they determined that he
was enrolled in programs that do not count for such credits.
Wigley sought declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, and
filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Chapter 14 of the Texas
Civil Practice & Remedies Code, asserting that Wigley
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, failed to
submit an affidavit of previous lawsuits, and failed to state
a non-frivolous claim. In response, Wigley filed an
"Affidavit Relating to Previous Filings through More
Specific Pleadings" and an affidavit relating to the
exhaustion of administrative remedies.
then filed two motions for leave to amend and supplement his
complaint, followed by his third amended and supplemental
complaint. Appellees filed an amended motion to dismiss,
again alleging that appellant's claims lack an arguable
basis in law and that he failed to comply with Chapter 14.
The trial court ordered Wigley's suit dismissed as
frivolous and for failure to comply with Chapter 14.
of Wigley's points on appeal challenge, for various
reasons, the trial court's dismissal of his suit. We will
begin our analysis by addressing that issue.
litigation is governed by Chapter 14, which sets forth
procedural requirements an inmate must satisfy as a
prerequisite to filing suit. See Tex. Civ. Prac.
& Rem. Code Ann. §§ 14.001-14.014 (West 2017).
Even if the procedural requirements are satisfied, however, a
trial court may dismiss an inmate's claim as frivolous or
malicious if it has no arguable basis in law or in fact.
Id. § 14.003(a)(2), (b)(2).
we review a dismissal under Chapter 14 for an abuse of
discretion. Brewer v. Simental, 268 S.W.3d 763, 767
(Tex. App.-Waco 2008, no pet.). "To establish an abuse
of discretion, an appellant must show the trial court's
actions were arbitrary or unreasonable in light of all the
circumstances. The standard is clarified by asking whether
the trial court acted without reference to any guiding rules
or principles." Spurlock v. Schroedter, 88
S.W.3d 733, 735-36 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 2002, pet.
denied) (citations omitted). We will affirm the trial
court's judgment if it can be upheld on any reasonable
theory supported by the evidence. Ex parte E.E.H.,
869 S.W.2d 496, 497-98 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1993,
writ denied). When, as here, the trial court dismisses a
claim without conducting a fact hearing, the issue on appeal
is whether the claim had an arguable basis in law. See
Spurlock, 88 S.W.3d at 736. In determining whether a
trial court properly determined that a claim has no arguable
basis in law, "we examine the types of relief and causes
of action appellant pleaded in his petition to determine
whether, as a matter of law, the petition stated a cause of
action that would authorize relief." Jackson v. Tex.
Dep't of Crim. Justice-Inst'l Div., 28 S.W.3d
811, 813 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 2000, pet. denied).
forth above, Wigley's lawsuit challenges the decision not
to award him good conduct time credits. He seeks (1) a
declaratory judgment that appellees' decision "was
discriminatory, unreasonable, unfair, arbitrary and
capricious . . . and violated [his] rights," (2) a
preliminary injunction ordering appellees to begin awarding