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Court of Appeals of Texas, Corpus Christi-Edinburg.


NUMBER 13-17-00372-CV

Decided: February 01, 2018

Before Justices Rodriguez, Contreras, and Benavides 1


In the underlying proceeding, the State of Texas, acting by and through the District Attorney of Nueces County, acting in conjunction with the Special Prosecutors Unit, filed a petition seeking to civilly commit Raymond Limon as a sexually violent predator. See TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. §§ 841.001–.151 (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st C.S.); see also TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN. §§ 41.301–.310 (West, Westlaw through 2017 1st C.S.).2 The District Attorney's Office thereafter disqualified itself from proceeding in the case because the District Attorney and his First Assistant had represented Limon as defense counsel in the foundational criminal cases. Limon moved to disqualify the Special Prosecution Unit on grounds that there was an irrebuttable presumption that the individuals in that unit had gained confidential knowledge about the case from the District Attorney's Office. The trial court refused to disqualify the Special Prosecution Unit, and appointed its Executive Director, Jack Choate, as attorney pro tem to prosecute the case. In this original proceeding, Limon seeks to compel the trial court to (1) vacate its May 25, 2017 order appointing Choate as attorney pro tem, and (2) disqualify the Special Prosecution Unit from serving as counsel in this case. This Court requested a response to the petition for writ of mandamus from any real party in interest and received a response to the petition from the Special Prosecution Unit. However, the trial court subsequently entered an agreed final judgment in the underlying cause wherein Limon stipulated that he was a sexually violent offender and agreed to civil commitment in accordance with section 841.081 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.

The Court, having examined and fully considered the petition for writ of mandamus, the response, the documents on file, and the applicable law, is of the opinion that this matter has been rendered moot. See Heckman v. Williamson Cty., 369 S.W.3d 137, 162 (Tex. 2012) (“A case becomes moot if, since the time of filing, there has ceased to exist a justiciable controversy between the parties—that is, if the issues presented are no longer ‘live,’ or if the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome.”); In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., 166 S.W.3d 732, 737 (Tex. 2005) (orig. proceeding) (stating that a case becomes moot “if a controversy ceases to exist between the parties at any stage of the legal proceedings”); Jack v. State, 149 S.W.3d 119 n.10 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004) (“A case becomes moot ․ when the judgment of the appellate court can no longer have an effect on an existing controversy or cannot affect the rights of the parties.”); see also In re Smith Cty., 521 S.W.3d 447, 455 (Tex. App.—Tyler 2017, orig. proceeding). Accordingly, we DISMISS this original proceeding as moot. See Tex. R. App. P. 52.8(a).


2.   This original proceeding arises from trial court cause number 2017DCV-1553-F in the 214th District Court of Nueces County, Texas, and the respondent is the Honorable Inna Klein. See generally TEX. R. APP. P. 52.2.


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