in Houston, Texas
Dismissed Dallas judges sue mayor and city council, claim they were dropped based on amount of revenue their courts generated
Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012, 01:32PM CST
By Steve Miller
gavel

Following an unflattering assessment of the court system in Dallas by the city manager’s office, four municipal court judges have filed a lawsuit against the mayor and the city council over their dismissal.

Plaintiffs Timoteo Gonzalez, David Indorf, Ruth Logan and Cheryl Williams lost their jobs when the council approved an ordinance to hire new judges. The law allowed the council’s judiciary committee to recommend judges, and the plaintiffs did not make the cut.

The suit contends the judges have “consistently received positive reviews” and that the city council has historically violated the rights of judges.

It asserts that the new ordinance was passed in violation of city code and cited the judicial review by the city manager’s office as influential in the shake up of judges.

The study, presented to the council Aug. 1, found that most defendants either ignore their court appearance or chance a court appearance rather than pay the fine outright for a number of reasons including the “likelihood is the violation will be dismissed or result in less penalty than paying the fine upfront.”

The ousted judges contend that they were being punished based on the amount of revenue they generated. They ask for an injunction against the recently passed ordinance, which would effectively hand them their jobs back.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of judge and gavel by flickr user s_falkow, used via a Creative Commons license.

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