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Kirk Wayne McBride, Sr. is an inmate at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility. Several years ago, the Department charged McBride with possession of an alcoholic beverage and entered findings against him in an administrative disciplinary hearing. McBride filed a Step 1 Grievance pursuant to the Department’s appeals process. McBride later learned that his Step 1 Grievance had been closed. He then initiated a new Step 1 Grievance, arguing that the Department never notified him of its decision in the first grievance, which prevented him from timely appealing it. The Department responded that the decision had been sent to McBride. McBride next filed a Step 2 Grievance, arguing that he was denied the right to challenge and exhaust his administrative remedies, and that the fifteen-day limitation period should begin anew from the date that he receives the original decision. Noting that McBride’s record revealed numerous grievances filed on a regular basis, the Department closed the case and took no further action.

McBride filed this lawsuit complaining, among other things, that the Department violated his due process rights by failing to give him a copy of the administrative decision. McBride sought a judgment declaring that the Department failed to comply with its own grievance procedures, and injunctive relief ordering the Department to provide him notice of its Step 1 decision so that he might proceed with his administrative remedies.

The Department denied McBride’s allegations, asserted sovereign immunity, and requested attorney’s fees. The trial court granted the Department’s plea and dismissed the case, but the court of appeals reversed, holding that “the Department’s claim for attorney’s fees is considered a claim for affirmative relief that waives sovereign immunity.”*fn1 ___ S.W.3d ___. We disagree.

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