The Texas Rangers (not the baseball team) was the answer all along!

Judge applicant arrested as she files for 418th

Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 12:17 am, Thu May 3, 2012.

By James Ridgway Jr.

Minutes after filing her application to run against incumbent Tracy Gilbert for 418th state District Court judge, Jessica Siegel found herself in the custody of the Texas Rangers – arrested for allegedly tampering with governmental records.

The arrest took place around 4:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Republican Headquarters in downtown Conroe as the deadline for candidacy filing drew to its official close. While Siegel’s application was submitted on time, officials with the MCRP later chose to reject it, leaving Gilbert’s 418th position uncontested.

The charge against Siegel was brought forth by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Division, according to First Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant. He said he could not provide further comment on Siegel’s pending case.

Jennie Morton, a friend and supporter of Siegel, was with Siegel and Siegel’s 7-year-old son when the arrest took place.

“I was mortified,” Morton said. “They said she was arrested for falsifying her residency on a notarized document (the filing application).”

Stranger, she added, was that this was the second arrest she had witnessed that day of someone involved with Gilbert through legal proceedings or politics.

At 11 a.m. Friday, while accompanying a woman named Trisha Shafer to the 418th District Court, who was there to meet a court employee in reference to personal case research, Shafer, Morton said, was suddenly arrested.

Jail records confirmed Shafer’s arrest related to a warrant for a misdemeanor DWI charge from January 2012.

Still, Morton maintained that Siegel’s charge is verifiably false.

Both Morton and Shafer were involved in child custody cases in Gilbert’s court.

Gilbert Garcia, one of the candidates running against Brett Ligon for district attorney, witnessed Siegel’s arrest and thought the highly public nature of it, in front of so many of the other candidates, could have been handled more appropriately.

“Whenever an officer is in the presence of what they perceive as a violation of law, an arrest is appropriate no matter the location,” Grant said in response.

Dr. Walter Wilkerson, chairman of the MCRP, said Siegel’s application appeared to meet all the necessary requirements for her to run against Gilbert; and even after her arrest, he said she would still be in the running.

However, later Friday evening, at the candidate ballot order draw at the Commissioners Court building, Wilkerson announced the 418th position as uncontested.

“Her candidacy has been pulled,” Wilkerson said.

Steve Simonsen, legal counsel for the MCRP, said the arrest had nothing to do with their decision to reject Siegel’s application; it was due to conflicting information on a previous application, Simonsen said.

Siegel submitted an application at the first deadline in December to run in the 418th election. But that was denied because the information she filled in on the application failed to meet the length of residency requirement to run for office in the county election.

But Siegel contested at the time that she had been living in Montgomery County since October 2010 and inadvertently left the additional two months off the residence section of her application, which would have given her the required length of residency.

Wilkerson provided The Courier a copy of Friday’s application, which listed Siegel’s “length of continuous residence” in the county as a year and five months.

Simonsen said, despite Siegel already having admitted to making an error on the first application, Siegel had sworn under a notarized oath to the length of time she has resided in the county via her application submitted last December.

“Maybe the first (application), she made a mistake, maybe not. I have no idea,” Simonsen said.

The Courier contacted Judge Tracy Gilbert Friday night, but he had no comment regarding Siegel’s arrest and application rejection.

“My only comment is – no comment.”

Siegel could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Dupuy Recused Yet Again from Another Case…

The Daily News

Dupuy again recused from divorce proceedings

The Daily News

Published October 17, 2012

GALVESTON — A judge on Tuesday was removed from a family law case after he was accused of ordering an attorney from a courtroom and then questioning his client.

In a hearing at the Galveston County Justice Center, Judge Olen Underwood, presiding judge of the Second Administrative Judicial Region of Texas, granted a motion calling for the removal of Judge Christopher Dupuy from an enforcement action in a divorce case.

Greg A. Hughes, the lawyer seeking Dupuy’s removal, was the same attorney who represented Dupuy’s ex-wife in their divorce proceeding.

Hughes accused Dupuy of tossing him from Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 on Aug. 29. Hughes also said another attorney, R.A. Apffel, told him Dupuy questioned his client after a bailiff escorted Hughes from the courtroom.

Dupuy declined to comment on the recusal until he had a chance to see Underwood’s order. Dupuy said Apffel was the divorce client’s attorney and that Apffel successfully defended his client.

Dupuy was initially recused from hearing the original divorce proceeding, but the enforcement case wound up back in his court.

There was a disagreement among attorneys arguing during Tuesday’s recusal hearing as to whether Hughes represented the divorce client.

Hughes said the courtroom was open during the public hearing and that Dupuy had no right to remove him.

Dupuy was elected during a countywide Republican sweep at the polls in 2010. The judge has since garnered attention by filing for bankruptcy in February.

A visiting judge sanctioned Dupuy in January and ordered him to pay a Houston attorney David A. Bryant $7,500 in connection with Bryant’s failed attempts in the previous eight months to depose Dupuy in a $500,000 civil fraud and malpractice suit.


For the original link click below:

Sign our petition….

Stand up with us:  Click on the link above to participate in our ANONYMOUS Petition page.  It allows you to “vote” YES OR NO if you think Judge Christopher Dupuy should be asked to resign or be removed from office. Only statistical information is released to the public- i.e., the number of people who have “voted” or signed and whether or not they voted YES OR NO. If you elect YES, we will collect your personal information but will only release it to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct and/or Galveston County officials holding decision making roles in government. Your personal information will not be released by us to the public at any time. No one will be able to see your name or information, regardless of whether you vote YES or NO, on this website. We cannot guarantee that the Commission or the County will not release your information- however- NO information will be forwarded unless there is a sufficient number of respondents.  We can at least make our voices heard!

How did Napoleon become emperor? Didn’t he stage a coup d’état and promote himself?

Okay, folks, another day…another order… it’s almost like he just can’t stop. I just wish he would give us ONE day off to rest… but it doesn’t seem that is going to happen… So now just BLANKET disqualification without any discussion with the other courts… or a judicial meeting to change the standing order that is currently in place…I can’t speak for the other judges…but that seems mighty COCKY to me…

Contempt order latest twist in fracas around Galveston judge

By Harvey Rice | Friday, October 12, 2012 | Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 9:48pm

GALVESTON — Possibly for the first time in Texas jurisprudence, a judge has held another judge in contempt of court.

The contempt order issued Wednesday by Galveston County Court Judge Christopher Dupuy is the latest move in a courthouse fracas that has led to multiple ethics complaints and a renewed effort to have Dupuy removed from office. Dupuy said he held Associate Judge Suzanne Radcliffe in contempt because she violated his order banning her from practicing family law.

“I’ve been in practice 26 years and I’ve never seen it,” said attorney Greg Enos, whose legal theory is partially responsible for the courthouse conflict. “I did a little research in Texas case law and couldn’t find any examples where a sitting judge was held in contempt.”

Dupuy, who has been the target of complaints by attorneys in the past, started the ruckus last month with an email to lawyers for the county and the district clerk asking for Texas Rangers and “Texas judiciary” to investigate Family Court Judge Janice Yarbrough, Radcliffe and Radcliffe’s office mate, attorney Lori Laird.

The accusations in the email he titled, “Investigation of Galveston County’s Dirty Little Family Law Court Secrets,” increased the turmoil engulfing Dupuy since his election in 2010. The judge is already defending three malpractice lawsuits and struggling with a bankruptcy in which he seeks to discharge the amounts sought in the lawsuits. His clashes with attorneys in his court and other judges have repeatedly made headlines.

In the email, he said Yarbrough “has granted her cronies and political friends preferential treatment,” referring to Rad-cliffe and Laird.

Dupuy said in the email that “dozens if not hundreds” of cases in which Radcliffe and Laird served as attorneys were void because of Yarbrough’s policies.

“Hundreds of thousands of dollars may have been funneled through the court, or with the court’s blessings, to the judge’s friend and appointee, Suzanne Radcliffe, as fees,” the email said.

“It’s so preposterous, it’s fiction beyond imagination,” Laird said. “There is no possible way Judge Dupuy could believe that to be true.”

Radcliffe could not be reached for comment, but Yarbrough and Laird each said they had filed ethics complaints against Dupuy with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Laird is accusing Dupuy of using his office to intimidate and harass her and other attorneys.

Yarbrough said the accusations were false. She said she notified the Judicial Conduct Commission, as well as local and regional administrative judges, as soon as a county lawyer forwarded her a copy.

Dupuy said he sent the email because it was time to right a wrong. “The issue is about fairness, it’s about doing the right thing,” he said.

At issue is a standing order issued in 1998 while Yarbrough was an assistant family court judge. The order governs associate judges, part-time judges who continue to work as attorneys and are appointed by the family court judge. To avoid an appearance of favoritism, cases handled by associate judges as attorneys must be transferred to another court.

Yarbrough said as an extra precaution, she extended that rule to Laird because Laird shares office space with Radcliffe.

The issue ignited Dupuy’s email after one of Laird’s cases was transferred to Dupuy’s court. The opposing attorney was Enos, who argued that although Laird and Yarbrough were not engaged in wrongdoing, the 1998 order allowed clients who didn’t want to appear before Yarbrough to avoid her by hiring Radcliffe or Laird.

He said avoiding a judge was the same as forum shopping, a term usually used to describe an effort to get a case before a sympathetic judge.

Dupuy agreed with Enos that the argument applied to Laird as well as the associate judge, and sent the case back to Yarbrough. Dupuy sent the email Sept. 17.

Enos, who publishes The Mongoose legal newsletter, said he intended to disavow any association with Dupuy’s email in the next issue. In a rough draft sent to the Houston Chronicle, Enos writes that Dupuy’s email “is in important parts flat wrong and his email about a fellow judge is unseemly and undignified.”

Dupuy has since ordered Radcliffe to stop practicing family law in Galveston County and this week held her and Laird in contempt.

Laird has joined other attorneys seeking to oust Dupuy. “I refuse to be bullied by him. Period,” she said via email.