Chapman v. TDCJ-ID (Published Memo): An inmate on a work detail fell from a ladder. He sues, alleging improper supervision, and a defect in the ladder (lack of non-slip rubber feet). The suit is dismissed as frivolous under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 14.
Following the Chapter 14 standards the trial court found that the claim’s “realistic chance of ultimate success is slight.”
The Tyler court reviews that decision under an abuse of discretion standard. The State of Texas is immune from suit unless it has given permission to sue. Permission to sue has been given for the “use of tangible personal property.” But no such permission has been given for cases of mixed use and nonuse. Chapman’s complaint about the ladder and being left alone is a mixed claim. The claim was therefore frivolous.