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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Ten years ago, a trial court convicted Zakee Kaleem Abdullah for offenses involving controlled substances, and sentenced him to 60 years’ imprisonment and fined him $10,000. On April 6, 2006, a Hopkins County district court issued an order that directed corrections authorities to take funds from Abdullah’s inmate trust fund and remit them to Hopkins County to reimburse the county for court costs, fees and fines. The trial court’s order stated that Texas Government Code �501.014(e) allows the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to withdraw from an inmate’s trust account any amount that a court orders an inmate to pay. The statute goes on to provide a prioritized list of items for which courts may order withdrawal of funds, including child support, restitution, court fees, fines and other court orders, judgments or writs. In addition, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code �14.006 allows a trial court to order an inmate who has filed a claim to pay court fees, court costs and other costs. The trial court cited this section in its order to withdraw funds from Abdullah’s account. But �14.006, it turns out, is irrelevant to this case, because it deals only with costs incurred in the course of an inmate civil suit, not costs incurred during an inmate’s conviction. A summary bill of costs generated by the Hopkins County district clerk attached to the trial court’s order states that Abdullah’s conviction resulted in $1,517.25 in total court costs. However, the line in Abdullah’s original judgment of conviction in which costs are listed was blank. Abdullah attempted to recover funds taken from his trust account. His pro se brief did not specify any particular errors in the judgment, except to argue that the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure both provide that no citizen can be deprived of property except through due course of law. Abdullah asked the 6th Court of Appeals t reverse the order, because it was entered without any information being provided to him beforehand; order the state to pay any costs for this appeal; and order any money removed from his trust fund be returned to that account. According to the 6th Court, the issue that Abdullah raises, in simple terms, is whether the state accorded him due process of law and proper notice before the state took his money. HOLDING:Reversed. Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 663a, the court stated, is unambiguous in its requirement that the state give a debtor notice of a garnishment, of his rights to regain his property, and of specific information on how to contest the writ of garnishment. The rule, the court stated, makes no distinction between prejudgment and postjudgment notice to the debtor. If a judgment-creditor intends to avail himself of the state’s aid in effecting a deprivation of property, he must strictly comply with the pertinent rules, the court stated. This did not happen in Abdullah’s case, the court stated, because Addullah received no notice beforehand of the garnishment. The trial court did not accord Abdullah the procedural due process to which he was entitled. OPINION:Moseley, J.; Morriss, C.J., and Carter and Moseley, J.J.

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