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Documents Withholding by Texas Guards Fails to State Claim; Suit Dismissed as Frivolous

Texas prisoner Keith Thomas appealed a 2003 state court dismissal of his suit for being frivolous. He claimed that guards at the Barry Telford Unit (BTU) in New Boston, Texas withheld documents regarding a lawsuit he had filed.

Thomas had initially filed suit for a lost pair of headphones. When documents he requested for use in that case were refused, he filed for a writ of production and ancillary injunction against the BTU guards and director Janie Cockrell of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The case was dismissed as frivolous, and Thomas appealed.

The Court of Appeals of Texas at Texarkana held that since production of the requested documents (related to prison grievances) was discretionary under Texas law, Thomas' claim lacked a basis in law and fact. The appellate court further held that the writ of injunction suggested no course of conduct for the court to review or implement. The trial court’s order of dismissal and finding of frivolousness was affirmed. See: Thomas v. Curry, Case No. 06 03 00087 CV (Tex. App., Nov. 18, 2003); 2003 WL 22707781.

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Related legal case

Thomas v. Curry