30.06 Ruling Letters

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montgomery
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#196

Post by montgomery »

Soccerdad1995 wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:27 am
ScottDLS wrote:Quick we need to get rid of this guy. :mad5 5 months is too long and he let the Dallas Zoo be a an amusement park. And the Democrats say he is the latest Bernie Madoff hence his indictment in Collin County. We need to elect a non-lawyer as AG.
I share your frustration with the 5 month delay. But my bigger frustration is with the limitations of the law itself. I think the real fix needs to be done in the legislature. And should focus on some of the following modifications:

1. Fines should be payable directly to the individual(s) filing the complaint.

2. Fines should be applied retroactively starting from the first day the illegal sign was put up. If it takes the AG 5 months to decide the case and the city immediately pulls the sign down after that, they are on the hook for 5 months of fines. This is similar to a lot of other laws where the penalty starts with the first day of infringement, not much later after an official ruling has been made.

3. Some incompetent and/or dishonest judges have shown that they are incapable of applying the definition of "court premises" in a fair and unbiased manner. Thus, we unfortunately need to take that discretion away from judges. Establish clear, minimum requirements that must be met to qualify as a court premises, and establish a punishment mechanism for judges that choose to violate the law. Censure, fines, or maybe even a short, mandatory jail stint.

4. Eliminate the amusement park and educational institution loopholes that are now being abused.

We need to punish the parties responsible for this illegal behavior. Right now, they have no fear of any consequences for violations and they are acting accordingly.
... they are being punished by paying fines funded from tax payers. Consideration should be given to find a way to punish them that does not cost us money. Defense to prosecution is LTC like the wrongful exclusion law for tenants and owners, for example.

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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#197

Post by treadlightly »

montgomery wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:49 pm ... they are being punished by paying fines funded from tax payers. Consideration should be given to find a way to punish them that does not cost us money. Defense to prosecution is LTC like the wrongful exclusion law for tenants and owners, for example.
I like the Texas Public Information Act, which says if you ask a question of a state employee that's not protected information (police case information, certain real estate dealings, etc.), they have to answer in ten days.

The law actually applies to all queries, not just questions that explicitly cite the act.

Failure to respond comes with a maximum of $1000 fine and six months in county jail for the individual. No protection of office. I like it. Too bad more laws aren't written that way.

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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#198

Post by Ike Aramba »

treadlightly wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:50 pm Failure to respond comes with a maximum of $1000 fine and six months in county jail for the individual. No protection of office. I like it. Too bad more laws aren't written that way.
Does that include legislators? :evil2:
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#199

Post by treadlightly »

Ike Aramba wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:18 pm
treadlightly wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:50 pm Failure to respond comes with a maximum of $1000 fine and six months in county jail for the individual. No protection of office. I like it. Too bad more laws aren't written that way.
Does that include legislators? :evil2:
Yep. Penalties are predictably rare.
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ELB
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#200

Post by ELB »

Yesterday the appellees (City of Austin) filed a motion for another extension (of 8 days) to the deadline for filing their brief, because they have a lot of other litigation going on.

The court granted it and the new filing deadline is 21 Feb 20.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#201

Post by ELB »

Recall that the Texas Attorney General appealed the trial court's rulings, particularly as to what constitutes a sign for the purpose of the "fines for signs" law and even more importantly as to how to calculate the fines themselves. The trial court assessed approximately $9,000 in fines; the AG says the correct calculation should result in approximately $6,000,000. He further argues that the trial court's method of calculating violations that result in fines would gut established cases and law in calculating fines, thus the problem is bigger than just a single case.

The Attorney General filed his appeal brief on 09 Dec 19, and requested oral argument.
This brief can be found here: http://search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia. ... 8e1ee2e1df

The Defendant City of Austin, after requesting and receiving a couple extensions of deadline, filed its brief on the latest deadline of 21 Feb 2020, and specifically did not request oral argument.
The brief can be found here: http://search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia. ... 4cfaf2f53a

The Appellant Attorney General filed his reply brief on 03 Mar 20.
The brief can be found here: http://search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia. ... 6c67099d3b

The apparent lead lawyer for the Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General Trevor W. Ezell, filed a letter on 04 Mar 20 requesting that the court set a hearing for oral argument to occur prior to 01 July 20 because after that Mr. Ezell will cease employment with the Office of the Attorney General to begin work as a Law Clerk for US Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
His letter is here: http://search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia. ... 75c3ee91dd
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ELB
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#202

Post by ELB »

Ah, here we go:

Whelp, this COVID 19 business is not going to make Paxton v. City of Austin courthouse sign litigation get resolved any faster... :banghead:
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#203

Post by ELB »

As of 23 March the case is "ready to be set" which I assume means everything is in place for the Court of Appeals to set a hearing date -- if they choose to hear it at all -- but no indication of when that might be.

http://search.txcourts.gov/Case.aspx?cn ... &coa=coa03
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C-dub
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#204

Post by C-dub »

ELB wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:37 pm Ah, here we go:

Whelp, this COVID 19 business is not going to make Paxton v. City of Austin courthouse sign litigation get resolved any faster... :banghead:
Won't that only increase their fine when the City of Austin loses?
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ELB
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#205

Post by ELB »

C-dub wrote: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:27 pm
ELB wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:37 pm Ah, here we go:

Whelp, this COVID 19 business is not going to make Paxton v. City of Austin courthouse sign litigation get resolved any faster... :banghead:
Won't that only increase their fine when the City of Austin loses?
Not according to the trial court judge and the City of Austin. That's one of the key issues of the appeal.

But in the civilized world, yes.
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#206

Post by ELB »

And....

Still no movement. The AG's office asked to have a hearing with oral arguments set before 01 July because the AG's lead lawyer will depart the AG's office for other employment on that date. I would assume the Appeals Court sets its schedule well in advance, so since it is already 10 Jun I don't see this happening prior to 01 July. :totap:
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#207

Post by ELB »

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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#208

Post by ELB »

The lead (I think) attorney for City of Austin submitted a letter to the court requesting that no trial be held in late May, June, or July because his wife was due to have a baby and he would be on leave. Although the letter is dated 22 May it wasn't up on the website in early June (last time I looked at it), so I guess it takes awhile for things to be posted.

The OAG submitted a motion on 22 June requesting permission to replace their lead attorney, since he was leaving the employ of the OAG on 2 July. The new guy is Assistant Attorney General Jason R. Lafond, who I believe has been involved in the case previously.

No trial date or other action has been posted. :grumble
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Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

#209

Post by ELB »

Sigh. The wife of the new lead attorney for the OAG is also expecting, and he just requested the court not schedule any hearings for November or December. I reckon that means October is right out as well. So no appeal decision in 2020. :waiting:
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