Private Warning of County Judge (08/26/14)
The judge failed to follow the law and demonstrated a lack of professional competence in the law when he (1) denied a litigant's motion to dismiss defendant's appeal after the defendant failed to timely correct the deficient appeal bond from the justice court which deprived the judge of jurisdiction; (2) order the litigant to immediately release the dog to the defendant, under threat of arrest, even though no judgment had been entered in the case; (3) failed to timely respond to the litigant's request to set a supersedeas bond in the case; (4) failed to timely issue a written judgment from which the litigant could appeal; and (5) set a clearly excessive supersedeas bond based on factors that were not authorized and/or allowable under the law. In addition the county attorney provided the judge with legal advice and assistance in the civil case while the county attorney was simultaneously handling the prosecution of the criminal cases involving the same two parties and same dispute over a dog. The judge's relationship with the county attorney created an appearance – if not the reality – that the attorney and judge discussed facts or otherwise shared information pertaining to all the pending proceedings and conveyed the impression there was a special position to influence the judge's decision. [Violation of Canons 2A, 2B, and 3B(2) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.] Private Warning of a County Judge. (08/26/14).