Appeal from the 412th District Court Brazoria County, Texas,
Trial Court Cause No. 103018-I
consists of Justices Jewell, Bourliot, and Zimmerer.
an inmate, appeals the trial court's order dismissing his
case as frivolous pursuant to section 14.005 of the Texas
Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Appellant seeks 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 dismiss
his appeal without reaching the merits of his challenge to
the trial court's order.
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). Effective as of January 1, 2012, Chapter 14 of the
Civil Practice and Remedies Code was amended so that its
requirements regarding inmate litigation apply to actions
filed in an appellate court. See Tex. Civ. Prac.
& Rem. Code Ann. § 14.002(a) (as amended, Chapter 14
applies to "an action, including an appeal or original
proceeding, brought by an inmate in a district, county,
justice of the peace, or small claims court or an appellate
court, including the supreme court or the court of criminal
appeals, in which an affidavit or unsworn declaration of
inability to pay costs is filed by the inmate.");
see also 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) (mem.
op.). 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).
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 and 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 neither a certified copy of his
inmate trust account statement with his affidavit of
inability to pay costs nor an additional affidavit or
declaration relating to previous filings.
26, 2019, we notified the parties of this court's
intention to dismiss the appeal for failure to comply with
Chapter 14 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code unless
appellant complied with Chapter 14 on or before August 7,
2019. 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 a response in which he argued the merits of
the appeal, but failed to file a copy of his previous filings
or his inmate trust account.
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 336, 340 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no
pet.); see Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann.
§ 14.003(a)(2), (b)(4). Because appellant failed to
comply with the requirements of chapter 14 after having been
given an opportunity to cure the defect, we dismiss this
appeal. See Foster v. West, 514 S.W.3d 887 (Tex.