Justices confirm prisoner's lawsuit as 'frivolous'

By David Yates | Jul 20, 2011

An inmate's appeal to reinstate a "frivolous" lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice was recently denied by justices on the Ninth Court of Appeals.

In 2010, prisoner Cedric Nickerson, claiming several dozen TDCJ employees were bullying him, filed suit in Jefferson County District Court.

Court records show Nickerson has filed multiple lawsuits against the TDCJ complaining of his treatment.

In his petition, Nickerson alleged that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and that TDCJ officers denied him "life maintaining medication" and other accusations.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, dismissed Nickerson's allegations with prejudice and stamped them as frivolous, forcing him to file an appeal on March 2.

Nickerson's appeal contended that the trial court erred in denying or failing to rule on his motion for continuance, and in dismissing the case with prejudice, court papers say.

On July 14 justices concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by determining that Nickerson's suit had no realistic chance of success and had no arguable basis in law or in fact.

"We hold that the trial court did not err by dismissing Nickerson's lawsuit as frivolous," writes Justice Hollis Horton. "We overrule Nickerson's sole issue and affirm the trial court's dismissal order."

Trial case No. D182-242
Appeal NO. 09-10-242-CV

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