Private Warning of a Former Municipal Court Judge. (07/14/14).
The judge failed to comply with the law, failed to maintain professional competence in the law, and failed to accord a traffic defendant her right to be heard when he denied the defendant her right to a jury trial, summarily found her guilty, and assessed a fine. Further, the judge's communications with the defendant, outside the presences of a prosecutor, regarding the merits of her case, including his efforts to discourage her from having a trial, constituted an improper ex parte communication with the defendant. In addition, the court's file in the defendant's case reflected that the court engaged in poor recordkeeping practices and failed to adequately document events in the defendant's case. The judge lacked professional competence not only regarding proper recordkeeping practices, but also regarding the procedures that must be followed under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure before a defendant may be jailed for failure to pay a fine. [Violation of Canons 2A, 3B(2), 3B(8) and 6C(2) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.] Private Warning of a Former Municipal Court Judge. (07/14/14).