Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo
Original Proceeding Arising From Proceedings Before the
County Court at Law Number One Potter County, Texas Trial
Court No. 107, 233-1-CV; Honorable Walton Weaver, Presiding
PIRTLE, PARKER, and DOSS, JJ.
PATRICK A. PIRTLE JUSTICE.
pro se, Relator, Vicker Sichanthavong, seeks a writ
of mandamus to compel the Honorable Walton Weaver to allow a
contract case that was filed with the trial court clerk to
proceed. Relator also seeks permission to "[submit] his
motion to criminal Court for [preliminary] hearing" and
for the case to be heard by a grand jury. Finally, Relator
seeks to have Judge Weaver disqualified from the case and
another judge assigned. For the reasons expressed herein, we
deny the requested relief.
as can be deciphered from Relator's petition, he rented a
house to Deidra Whitfield. The house was destroyed by fire
and Relator attempted to sue her for breach of contract and
to recover damages. He asserts that Judge Weaver will not
allow the case to move forward unless Relator is represented
relies on Ex parte Shaffer, 649 S.W.2d 300, 302
(Tex. 1982), in which the Court recognized that Rule 7 of the
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure allows a party to prosecute or
defend a suit in person or by an attorney. In Ex parte
Shaffer, a court order requiring a party in a contempt
proceeding to be represented by counsel was found to have
abridged his right to be heard himself. Id. The
Court noted, however, that lack of representation should not
be used to unnecessarily delay a trial or abuse the system.
Standard of Review
is an extraordinary remedy granted only when a relator can
show that (1) the trial court abused its discretion and (2)
that no adequate appellate remedy exists. In re H.E.B.
Grocery Co., L.P., 492 S.W.3d 300, 302 (Tex.
2016) (orig. proceeding) (per curiam). When seeking mandamus
relief, a relator bears the burden of proving these two
requirements. Walker v. Packer, 827 S.W.2d 833, 840
(Tex. 1992) (orig. proceeding).
establish an abuse of discretion, the relator must
demonstrate the trial court acted unreasonably, arbitrarily,
or without reference to any guiding rules or principles.
See Downer v. Aquamarine Operators, Inc.,
701 S.W.2d 238, 241-42 (Tex. 1985). To establish no adequate
remedy by appeal, the relator must show there is no adequate
remedy at law to address the alleged harm and that the act
requested is a ministerial act, not involving a discretionary
or judicial decision. State ex rel. Young v. Sixth
Judicial Dist. Court of Appeals, 236 S.W.3d 207, 210
(Tex. Crim. App. 2007) (orig. proceeding).
first address the mandatory requirements for filing a
petition for writ of mandamus in this court. See
Tex. R. App. P. 52.3. Relator substantially complied with
most of those requirements. The deficiency, however, is vital
to our consideration of the issue presented to this court.
Rule 52.3(k) requires that a petition include an
Appendix with a certified or sworn copy of any order
being complained of or other documentation showing the matter
of which the relator complains. Tex.R.App.P. 52.3(k)(1)(A).
petition contains a document entitled "Appendix"
followed by a list of legal authorities. However, there is no
appendix included with Relator's petition. More
importantly, the petition is not accompanied by any
documentation supporting the underlying contract case of
which he complains to this court, nor is there any
documentation of his request to proceed pro se and
Judge Weaver's denial of that request.
se litigants are not exempt from rules of procedure.
Pena v. McDowell, 201 S.W.3d 665, 667 (Tex. 2006).
Even if Relator had substantially complied with the
requirements of Rule 52.3, nothing ...