Lee Roger Simpson v. Katherine J. "Jody" Gilliam, et al.--Appeal from 82nd District Court of Falls County

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Lee Roger Simpson v Jody Gilliam et al. /**/

IN THE

TENTH COURT OF APPEALS


No. 10-01-403-CV


LEE ROGER SIMPSON,

Appellant

v.


KATHERINE J. "JODY" GILLIAM, ET AL.,

Appellees


From the 82nd District Court

Falls County, Texas

Trial Court # 34,029

O P I N I O N

This appeal involves a pro se in forma pauperis suit that was dismissed under Chapter Fourteen of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (TCPRC). We affirm the trial court s judgment.

Inmate Lee Roger Simpson, Jr. brought suit against the district attorney and assistant district attorney of Falls County, along with the attorney general of Texas and two assistant attorneys general. In his suit he alleges the wrongful death of his father, Lee Roger Simpson, Sr. According to Simpson, Jr., the death of his father was caused by the failure of the defendants to have a story published in a local newspaper. The trial court ordered the action dismissed because the claims lack any arguable basis in law, and the suit failed to comply with sections 14.004 and 14.006(f) of Chapter Fourteen. Simpson now appeals one issue to this Court. He complains that the trial court had no authority to dismiss the claims against the district attorney and assistant district attorney of Falls County because they did not file a motion to dismiss.

Chapter Fourteen of the TCPRC applies to in forma pauperis suits brought by inmates. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. 14.002 (Vernon Supp. 2002). This Court has held that the proper review of a dismissal under Chapter Fourteen is controlled by an abuse of discretion standard. Hickson v. Moya, 926 S.W.2d 397, 398 (Tex. App. Waco 1996, no writ). This standard requires that we determine whether the trial court acted without reference to any guiding rule or principle. Id. Further, in reviewing suits brought under Chapter Fourteen, the trial court need not rely upon a motion of the defendant in order to exercise its discretionary power to dismiss. See McCollum v. Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Inc., 980 S.W.2d 535, 537 (Tex. App. Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, no pet.). Accordingly, we hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the suit, and affirm the judgment.


REX D. DAVIS

Chief Justice


Before Chief Justice Davis

Justice Gray and

Justice Cummings

Affirm

Opinion delivered and filed November 13, 2002

Do not publish

[CV06]