Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth
Appeal from the 141st District Court Tarrant County, Texas
Trial Court No. 141-293386-17
Sudderth, C.J.; Gabriel and Kerr, JJ.
Sudderth Chief Justice.
2017, pro se Appellant Donald Read sued Appellee Lori Naylor,
who was the court reporter during Read's criminal trial
five years prior that resulted in his felony
driving-while-intoxicated conviction and twenty-five-year
sentence. See Read v. State, No. 11-13-00344-CR,
2015 WL 6121536, at *1 (Tex. App.-Eastland Oct. 15, 2015,
pet. ref'd) (mem. op., not designated for publication).
In his original petition, Read complained that Naylor had
transcribed the record for his appeal but had not delivered
it to him, depriving him of the exculpatory evidence that he
needed to support his habeas corpus petition and
actual-innocence claim and thus denying him due process. Read
sought a minimum of $200, 000 in damages.
than a year later, an attorney with the Tarrant County
District Attorney's Office filed an original answer on
Naylor's behalf and a motion to dismiss pursuant to civil
practice and remedies code chapter 14,  arguing that
Read's suit had no basis in law or in fact because he had
failed to identify a cause of action for which he would be
entitled to money damages and because Naylor, as a
governmental official sued in her official capacity, was
immune from liability and from suit. Read objected,
complaining that the district attorney's representation
of Naylor was a conflict of interest because he had sent
Naylor a check for $18 to purchase some of the record of his
criminal trial and when she did not send him anything in
return, he reported the incident as theft to the Tarrant
County District Attorney.
appeared telephonically at the trial court's hearing on
Naylor's motion. At the beginning of the hearing, Read
asked the trial court if it had received his objection to
Naylor's being represented by the district attorney, and
the trial court replied, "I did receive that." The
trial court then asked Read if he wanted to make his
objection on the record or to note that it was in the file.
Read replied, "Yes, and on the record, along with a few
other things," but he did not elaborate further or
secure any ruling on his objection.
informed the trial court that he had had court-appointed
counsel for the appeal of his criminal conviction but claimed
that the attorney had worked against him instead of on his
behalf. The trial court said, "Then you can call the
state bar about the court-appointed attorney. What do you
want me to do for you?" Read responded, "Well,
I'm wanting the transcript so that I can prove my
innocence" and stated that the Eastland Court of Appeals
had "actually falsified some government records and
included some things that [weren't] even in the
trial" and had affirmed his conviction.
trial court asked Read whether his attorney had received the
record, and Read replied,
Yes, sir. I filed a grievance with the State Bar Association
because he refused to get me a copy, and he refused to have
any kind of communication with me or anything. He wasn't
representing me. He was stealing taxpayer's money from
the taxpayers. He didn't do a thing in the world for me.
He didn't cite not one constitution. The only statute he
cited in his appeal was the Penal Code 49[.]09. He didn't
do anything besides take your money. You pay taxes, too, Your
. . . .
And he took your money. He took our money. He's
destroying our judicial system. Our judicial system is based
on the administration of justice, not the administration of
convicted indigent defendants.
. . . .
. . . I need the transcript so that I can prove in the
federal court all of this what I'm telling you here.
also informed the trial court that he had a parallel lawsuit
pending in the federal court because he did not "need to
mess with Texas courts that are corrupt" and that he had
filed suit in federal court "where [he] might find some
justice." The trial court concluded that Read had not
been able to ...