State District Judge Peter Sakai increased adoption of foster children in Bexar County by 1000 percent from 1995 to 2005. He is proposing a new pilot program to reduce the amount of time it takes a child abuse case to reach a resolution.
A family court judge is asking Bexar County to help fund a pilot program that would streamline cases in the family courts. Judge Peter Sakai hopes to add two court managers and other elements to the program that will help connect the dots with other parts of the legal system.
The child abuse and neglect court in Bexar County accounts for $3.5 million a year in fees for court-appointed attorneys.
"And our system is second only to the total felony courts," Sakai said.
One line in the federal district judge’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Texas abortion law has attorneys and some state agencies asking the question: Will all abortion clinics be allowed to reopen while the case awaits an appeal before the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans?
That’s the question that abortion-rights attorneys and those with the Texas attorney general’s office are hoping to have answered by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court during an injunction hearing on Sept. 12.
Groups in favor of the new Texas abortion law protested outside federal court in Austin when arguments began in the case challenging the ambulatory surgical center requirement at the beginning of August.
Update (9/3): A panel of judges at the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s request to block a federal judges ruling striking down Texas’ ambulatory surgical center requirement for clinics performing abortions.
On Friday, Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel issued a ruling that stopped the enforcement of House Bill 2's ambulatory surgical center requirements and also blocked the law’s admitting privileges requirement for clinics in McAllen and El Paso.
The city of San Antonio is seeking an opinion from the Texas attorney general's office on whether it must release sensitive audio files under the Public Information Act. The city contends that some of the documents relating to San Antonio’s first non-discrimination ordinance complaint are confidential.
Abortion-rights groups painted a national legal landscape for challenges to state abortion laws and spoke specifically about Texas, where clinics are eagerly awaiting a federal decision regarding the state’s ambulatory surgical center standards.
Julie Rickelman with the Center for Reproductive Rights said Texas has become the focal point for the national fight against these types of restrictions.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team has filed a constitutional challenge seeking to dismiss his two-count felony indictment.
In a writ of habeas corpus filed today, the governor’s legal team contends there are problems with separation of powers, rights to free speech, and say the penal code used to charge Perry is vague and overboard; that it doesn’t clearly define what is and isn’t permissible under the law.
University of Texas at Austin School of Law professor Jennifer Laurin said this type of challenge has a very limited set of arguments.
The state’s public integrity unit has filed a request with the governor’s office and legislative budget officials to restore funding to the agency in 2015.
But that effort may not be possible unless the unit is moved out of the Travis County district attorney’s office, which is headed by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.
State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said she would like to see the unit moved in 2015. In a statement, Nelson wrote that "we need to move the unit somewhere less partisan."
The cost of Texas Gov. Rick Perry legal dream team, who is fighting his two-count indictment, isn’t one that is expected to come cheap, but the governor’s campaign has announced it will be picking up the tab.
In the last two month just prior to Perry’s indictment, the governor's office said his legal tab for one attorney was running just over $80,000. Perry has since added three more attorneys to work on his defense.
Lucy Nashed, a spokesperson with the governor's office, said the Texas taxpayers have nothing to fear regarding the cost of the case.
Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team is dismissing accusations that the governor’s veto of the state public integrity unit’s budget was related to another ongoing investigation involving the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.