The District Clerk has received a motion for leave to file writ of mandamus from an inmate acting as a "relator" for another inmate in TDCJ. It is hand written and not sure if it was actually filed with the CCA or not.
As you read this, keep in mind that the request for documents and this motion are barely intelligible, mostly as a result of using legal terminology when one hasn't the faintest idea what said words mean.
Inmate sent three consecutive requests for documents. Clerk responded each time by either providing documents, providing documents that matched the request based on our best guess of what was wanted, and/or letter stating that some of the requested documents didn't exist. Copies were paid for and overpayment returned.
Clerk got a fourth request for the same thing from this second inmate on behalf of the first. Each request has complained of the clerk not doing what she should.
Clerk calls TDCJ and reports harrassing mail and blocks mail from the second inmate. This is evidently what triggered this motion.
Clerk is not opposed to providing copies to inmates. The best I can tell, the problem here is the inmates don't have any idea what to ask for, and don't realize they have received what was requested.
The requested writ is to compel the clerk to fulfill her ministerial duty.
How should we respond?
Sounds to me like this is more about the public information act, and may actually be a civil writ filed under 552.321 of the Government Code, rather than a criminal writ. I would look at Chapter 552 of the government code, pay special attention to section 552.232 to see if it applies in your situation. But I would note, even though it may be annoying, sending the same items that have previously been sent would make the mandamus filing moot.
Thanks. The documents requested were from a felony case, which is why I think the inmate styled it in the CCA. I agree that it is a civil matter. I also suggested to the clerk that she respond to the request despite the previous responses. Just thought I would see if anyone came up with a different opinion.
If this pleading is one described by TRAP 72.1, then the clerk might simply return it (as it is properly filed only with the clerk of the CCA). If it is a copy of something filed under TRAP 72.1, then it requires no action by the District Clerk. See TRAP 72.2.
Moreover, the suggested action where a clerk refuses to file a petition for mandamus is to attempt to file it directly with the judge of the court. See In re Rojas, 08-14-00132-CV (El Paso 2014).
The PIA does not apply to the clerks records pertaining to criminal cases.
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