Clark v. J.W. Estelle Unit – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Clark v. J.W. Estelle Unit, 23 S.W.3d 420 (Tex. App.--Houston 1st Dist. 2000, pet. denied), the inmate provided a list of previous filings, but he did not state the operative facts for which relief was sought in those suits. Id.

The Court upheld the trial court's dismissal concluding that Clark failed to comply with Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. Section 14.004 and, accordingly, his claim was deemed frivolous. Id.

Where an inmate fails to state the operative facts of prior suits filed by that inmate, as required by Section 14.004, "we must assume the suit is substantially similar to a previously filed suit by the inmate, and is, therefore, frivolous." Clark, 23 S.W.3d at 422.

The Court affirmed the trial court's dismissal for failure to state a claim because Clark's affidavit of previous filings did not state the operative facts for which he sought relief in prior suits and, thus, did not satisfy the requirements of section 14.004. Clark, 23 S.W.3d at 422.

"As such, we must assume the suit is substantially similar to a previously filed suit by the inmate, and is, therefore, frivolous." Id.