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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:This court dismissed Lawrence Higgins’ appeal because Higgins did not pay the filing fee or file an affidavit of indigency in compliance with Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 20.1. The Texas Supreme Court reversed this court for three reasons: 1. An affidavit of indigency is no longer a jurisdictional requirement; 2. Higgins corrected the error by filing the affidavit; and 3. A deficient affidavit could not be the basis of dismissal without first giving Higgins the opportunity to amend “amend the instrument.” Higgins v. Randall County Sheriff’s Office, No. 05-0095 (Tex. May 26, 2006). This court told Higgins to explain why his affidavit had been late and to file an amended affidavit. The court told him that failure to act would be grounds for dismissal. In response, Higgins told the court he thought that because he was a pauper at trial, he did not have to do anything to maintain that status on appeal. He also filed an affidavit of indigence with a copy of a letter he sent to the Supreme Court explaining that he had no money and did not anticipate having any money in the future and that his prison inmate account had a balance of three cents. HOLDING:Appealed dismissed. Higgins’ affidavit does not say whether he is married, has income available to him through a spouse, owns real or personal property or has other assets. Rule 20.1(b) requires as much. It is implicit from the Supreme Court’s opinion that even though an affidavit can be filed late, “those entitled to contest under Rule 20.1(e) should still be afforded the chance to do so.” Without the requisite elements of an affidavit, such a party cannot make a meaningful challenge. “In sum, Higgins again failed to comply with a directive of this court as well as with applicable rules of appellate procedure. This occurred despite our affording him opportunity to do so and notification of the consequences should he not. Moreover, nothing before us depicts any inability on his part to do that which we asked. Given this, we heed the admonition in Higgins and dismiss the appeal due to appellant’s noncompliance with the”defect and irregularity in appellate procedure.’” OPINION:Per curiam; Quinn, C.J., Reavis and Campbell, J.J.

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