Appeal from the 55th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2018-40373
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Landau and
Deshan Butler, an inmate, appeals the trial court's
judgment dismissing Butler's underlying civil action for
want of prosecution. We conclude that Butler 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 dismissal. See, e.g., Wilkerson v.
Ramsey 1 Unit, No. 01-14-00790-CV, 2015 WL 1825802, at
*1-2 (Tex. App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Apr. 21, 2015, no pet.);
Deroven v. Blanchard, No. 10-14- 00223-CV, 2014 WL
5316730, at *1 (Tex. App.-Waco, Oct. 16, 2014, no pet.);
Cantu v. Curran, No. 14-13-00704-CV, 2014 WL 866027,
at *2 (Tex. App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Mar. 4, 2014, pet.
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 §
14.002(a). "A trial court may dismiss an inmate's
lawsuit for failing to comply with the procedural
requirements of Chapter 14." Scott v.
Gallagher, 209 S.W.3d 262, 265 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st
Dist.] 2006, no pet.) (citing Williams v. Brown, 33
S.W.3d 410, 412 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2000, no
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 §
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.") (emphasis added); see also Douglas v.
Moffett, 418 S.W.3d 336, 339 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th
Dist.] 2013, no pet.); Hickman v. Tex. Dep't of
Criminal Justice, No. 13-12-00437-CV, 2013 WL 3770916,
at *2 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi-Edinburg July 18, 2013, no
pet.). "When 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." Moffett, 418 S.W.3d at 339
(citing Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 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). 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 §§ 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)); see also Hickman, 2013 WL 3770916, at *2.
Failure to file the required affidavit or declaration of
previous filings or the inmate account statement can result
in dismissal without notice or hearing. See Turner,
441 S.W.3d at 339; see also Hickman, 2013 WL
3770916, at *2. 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. See Turner, 441 S.W.3d
at 339; see also Hickman, 2013 WL 3770916, at *2.
appeal, Butler filed an affidavit of inability to pay costs.
However, Butler did not file a certified copy of his inmate
trust account statement with his affidavit of inability to
pay costs, nor did he file an additional affidavit or
declaration relating to previous filings. After being
notified that this appeal was subject to dismissal unless he
fulfilled all of the missing Chapter 14 requirements, Butler
filed a copy of his trust account statement but failed to
file an affidavit or declaration regarding previous filings.
Accordingly, because the requirements of Chapter 14 apply to
this appeal and have not been met, we dismiss the appeal
without notice as frivolous. See Wilkerson, 2015 ...