Weekly Case Summaries: January 28, 2010

Texas Courts of Appeals

T.L.B. v. Texas Dept. of Pub. Safety

01/20/11 : Cite No. 03-10-00196-CV

Issue:

Did the trial court properly deny a petition for expunction after the State dismissed the case due to the victim's death?

Holding:

Yes. The petitioner failed to show that the indictment was dismissed because "the presentment had been made because of mistake, false information, or other similar reason indicating absence of probable cause at the time of the dismissal to believe the person committed the offense." Simply, the State's inability to prove the case did not mean the grand jury lacked probable cause. Read Opinion.

Commentary:

A well-written opinion explaining that the death of a key witness in a case and subsequent dismissal does not prove there was no basis for the original charge. Over and over, we continue to see appeals of the denial of expunction petitions, and the only argument really comes down to, "But I wasn't prosecuted." That is not a sufficient reason for expunction.

Texas Attorney General

Request for Opinion from Bowie County Criminal District Attorney

01/13/11 : Request No. RQ-0940-GA

Issue:

Does the County Judge for Bowie County, Texas have the authority to contract with a "personal consultant" absent the Commissioner's Court approval and what authority would a "personal consultant" have to review other elected offices? Read Request.

 

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