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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Darrin Buggs filed a suit against a former employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice who is about to move to Kansas. Buggs filed a discovery motion with the trial court asking that the trial court order the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s director to take all necessary actions to obtain an address for the employee. The trial court has not yet ruled on the motion, though the motion has been pending for three months. Buggs filed for a writ of mandamus asking this court to order the trial court to order the district clerk to take action to secure serving citation by publication of the employee in Kansas, and to order the trial court to rule on the discovery motion. HOLDING:Writ denied. The court agrees that it is the duty of the district clerk to issue service of process in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure. However, based on the facts in this case, the court finds that a duty has not arisen. “It is clearly not part of the duty of the district clerk to seek out and locate either person or newspaper in Kansas for the benefit of a plaintiff,” the court writes. “It is also not the obligation of the clerk to provide payment to the media outlet for such service.” The court adds that Buggs titled the document he filed with the trial court about the district clerk “Advisory to the Court.” That is not a motion seeking relief, the court finds, and there is nothing within it seeking action by the trial court. Consequently, there is no error of law that a writ of mandamus could correct. As for the motion to compel discovery, the court says that in the absence of additional information, it cannot say as a matter of law that a sufficient amount of time has elapsed to justify ordering the trial court to rule on the motion. The court adds that nothing indicates whether the TDCJ has received the discovery motion, much less had time to respond. Also, the court points out, Buggs is asking TDCJ to seek out information it doesn’t have, which is beyond the normal scope of discovery. OPINION:Carter, J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, JJ.

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