Prisoner's Frivolous Lawsuits In Texas

In Thomas v. Tex. Dept. of Criminal Justice, 848 S.W.2d 797 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1993, writ denied) the court dismissed a prisoner's claims of injury as being frivolous and malicious because they were de minimis in nature. Id. at 798. The court acknowledged, however, that the prisoner's allegations, although frivolous, were sufficient to state a viable cause of action under the Texas Tort Claims Act. Id. a court may dismiss a claim, either before or after service of process, if the court finds that the claim is frivolous or malicious. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 14.003(a)(2). In determining whether a claim is frivolous or malicious, the trial court may consider whether: (1) the claim's realistic chance of ultimate success is slight; (2) the claim has no arguable basis in law or in fact; (3) it is clear that the party cannot prove facts in support of the claim; or (4) the claim is substantially similar to a previous claim filed by the inmate because the claim arises from the same operative facts.