Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
Petition for Writ of Mandamus.
Justices Benavides, Longoria, and Perkes
GREGORY T. PERKES, JUSTICE 
Lakeith Raqib Amir-Sharif, proceeding pro se, filed a
petition for writ of mandamus in the above cause on November
8, 2019. Through this original proceeding, relator seeks to
compel the trial court to comply with the recusal procedures
provided by Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 18a. See
Tex. R. Civ. P. 18a(f). We conditionally grant the petition for
writ of mandamus.
to the petition for writ of mandamus, relator filed the
underlying lawsuit as a Texas prisoner "seeking the
return of and/or adequate monetary compensation for various
authorized personal property items that were improperly
confiscated in July 2015 by the named defendants in the
lawsuit." Relator states that he filed a motion to
recuse the respondent on June 6, 2019. According to the
record provided, the District Clerk of Bee County received
and filed the motion to recuse and forwarded a copy to the
respondent on July 22, 2019. Relator asserts that the trial
court has failed to act on his motion to recuse. He argues
that the respondent has a mandatory and non-discretionary
duty to comply with Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 18a(f)(1).
Court requested that the real parties in interest, Warren
Kenneth Paxton Jr. on behalf of the Office of the Attorney
General of the State of Texas, Law Enforcement Defense
Division (OAG) and Sharon Howell as General Counsel for the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or any others whose
interest would be directly affected by the relief sought,
file a response to the petition for writ of mandamus.
See Tex. R. App. P. 52.2, 52.4, 52.8. The OAG filed
a response to the petition confirming that relator filed a
motion to recuse the respondent on June 6, 2019. The OAG
further states, in relevant part:
Relator seeks mandamus relief requiring the . . . judge to
comply with the entirety of Rule 18(a), which in part
requires the judge to either voluntarily recuse herself from
the case or to refer the motion to the regional presiding
judge, in this case the Hon. Sid Harle of the 4th
Administrative Judicial Region. See Tex. R. Civ. P.
After contacting the Bee County District Clerk's Office
and the Clerk's Office for the 4th Administrative
Judicial Region, undersigned counsel is not aware of any
filings made by the District Court relating to the
Relator's Motion for Recusal, other than the July 22,
2019 letter filed by the Clerk's Office informing Relator
that the motion to recuse was forwarded to the Hon. Judge
Texas Department of Criminal Justice did not file a response
to relator's petition for writ of mandamus. See
id. R. 52.4.
Standard for Mandamus Relief
is an extraordinary remedy issued at the discretion of the
court. In re Garza, 544 S.W.3d 836, 840 (Tex. 2018)
(orig. proceeding) (per curiam). To obtain relief by writ of
mandamus, a relator must establish that an underlying order
is void or is a clear abuse of discretion and there is no
adequate appellate remedy. In re Nationwide Ins. Co. of
Am., 494 S.W.3d 708, 712 (Tex. 2016) (orig. proceeding);
see In re Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 148 S.W.3d
124, 135-36 (Tex. 2004) (orig. proceeding); Walker v.
Packer, 827 S.W.2d 833, 839-40 (Tex. 1992) (orig.
abuse of discretion occurs when a trial court's ruling is
arbitrary and unreasonable or is made without regard for
guiding legal principles or supporting evidence. In re
Nationwide Ins. Co. of Am., 494 S.W.3d at 712; Ford
Motor Co. v. Garcia, 363 S.W.3d 573, 578 (Tex. 2012). We
determine the adequacy of an appellate remedy by balancing
the benefits of mandamus review against the detriments.
In re Essex Ins. Co., 450 S.W.3d 524, 528 (Tex.
2014) (orig. proceeding); In re Prudential Ins. Co. of
Am., 148 S.W.3d at 136. In deciding whether the benefits
of mandamus outweigh the detriments, we weigh the public and
private interests involved, and we look to the facts in each
case to determine the adequacy of an appeal. In re United
Servs. Auto. Ass'n, 307 S.W.3d 299, 313 (Tex. 2010)
(orig. proceeding); In re McAllen Med. Ctr., Inc.,
275 S.W.3d 458, 469 (Tex. 2008) (orig. proceeding); In re
Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 148 S.W.3d at 136-37.