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Bovee v. Houston Press, L.P.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

June 18, 2019

MATTHEW S. BOVEE, Appellant
v.
HOUSTON PRESS, L.P., MARGARET DOWNING, DIANNA WRAY, PETER RYAN, DALLAS OBSERVER, L.P., PATRICK WILLIAMS, LINTELEVISION OF TEXAS, L.P. D/B/A KXAN-TV, MEDIA GENERAL, INC., DAWN DENNY, VOICE MEDIA GROUP, AND JANE DOE, Appellees

          On Appeal from the 270th District Court Harris County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 2016-16984

          Panel consists of Justices Christopher, Hassan, and Poissant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          MEAGAN HASSAN JUSTICE

         Appellant Matthew S. Bovee filed suit in Johnson County asserting claims against eleven defendants for defamation, negligence, and conspiracy. The Johnson County trial court granted defendant Jane Doe's motion to transfer venue to Harris County. Because we conclude this transfer was in error, we reverse the Harris County trial court's final judgment and remand with instructions to transfer this cause back to Johnson County.

         Background

         In May 2011, Bovee pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of injury to a child. The offense arose from an incident that occurred while Bovee was a counselor at Camp La Junta, a summer camp for boys. Bovee was sentenced to ten years' supervised release.

         Five months after his conviction, Bovee's supervised release was revoked for his failure to comply with the conditions of his community supervision. While he was incarcerated, Bovee filed suit in Johnson County against the following defendants:

• Houston Press, L.P., publisher of the Houston Press newspaper;
• Margaret Downing, editor of the Houston Press;
• Dianna Wray, reporter for the Houston Press;
• Peter Ryan, artist for the Houston Press;
• Dallas Observer, L.P., publisher of the Dallas Observer newspaper;
• Patrick Williams, editor of the Dallas ...

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