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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Relator Roy F. Hearn, an inmate in the state penal system, filed a suit for injunction to force the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Correctional Institutions Division (TDCJ) to provide treatment for his skin condition. The trial court ordered that Hearn pay costs of court in increments from his inmate account. HOLDING:Writ of mandamus is not available to challenge the payment of costs. In the alternate, the court holds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by ordering the payments. The court conditionally grants the writ with respect to Hearn’s motion to recuse the trial judge. Hearn’s case has not been dismissed as frivolous or malicious under Chapter 14, nor has it been dismissed because he has failed to pay costs. Instead, the proportionate payments ordered by the trial court pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code �14.006 will allow Hearn to proceed with his case without undue burden for the payment of costs. Although Hearn may not agree that he should have to pay costs at all, he is not prevented from prosecuting his suit. At the conclusion of the suit, if he loses, he may appeal the order to pay costs. If he wins at the trial level, he could be awarded reimbursement of costs. Although mandamus will afford faster relief, the court holds Hearn has an adequate remedy by appeal. Hearn complains the trial court failed to hold a hearing before issuing the order to pay costs. The statute does not require a hearing before the trial court rules on the payment of costs. The only factual evidence necessary for the trial court to review when setting costs under �14.006 is the certified copy of the inmate’s trust account balance. Because there are no factual issues to be determined, there is no need for a hearing. Finally, Hearn complains that he was required to pay more than other litigants. Because the orders and circumstances of the other cases are not in the record, it is impossible to determine if other litigants filed the same type of suit in the same year and in the same type of court. Further, the trial court has discretion to impose no costs or any part of the costs up to the full amount. The court denies Hearn’s petition for writ of mandamus with respect to the trial court’s order to pay costs. The motion to recuse was filed April 16, 2003. No action was taken on the motion to recuse prior to the August mandamus action and no action has been taken since the mandamus opinion issued. The trial court has had approximately eight months to act and has not. Eight months is not a per se unreasonable delay; however, because Hearn is seeking medical attention by his suit and because the trial court has had previous notice that Hearn desires a ruling on his motions, the court conditionally grants the petition as to the motion to recuse. OPINION:Green, J.; Green, Duncan and Speedlin, JJ.

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