July 23, 2010

Texas Courts of Appeals

Gutierrez v. State – 4th COA

07/14/10 : Cite No. 04-09-00237-CR


Does the trial court’s failure to obtain a PSI upon request require a new punishment hearing?


Yes. The visiting judge did not have the benefit of "a proposed client supervision plan" and it cannot be assumed that she was aware of the programs and sanctions of community supervision. Also, although the judge did not have to obtain a PSI, she failed to explain her reasons for not doing so on the record as required. Read Opinion.


The court of appeals should have just abated the appeal for the trial judge to make a finding on why a PSI was not done. On remand, one can imagine it going something like this:

Judge: This case was reversed for failure to order a PSI before sentencing. Is that correct?

Defense attorney: Yes, your honor.

Judge: I find that the information presented during the trial was sufficient to complete sentencing. Therefore, a PSI was not necessary. Does that comply with the opinion of the court of appeals?

Prosecutor: Yes, ma’am.

Judge: Then I resentence defendant to the same punishment. We are adjourned.


Judge Cascos, Et Al. v. Cameron County Attorney -13th COA

7/15/10 : Cite No 13-10-00016-CV and 13-10-00023-CV


Is the Cameron County Commissioners Court required to use the Cameron County Attorney for legal advice and representation in civil matters?


No. The only applicable statutory mandate is that the County Attorney shall provide his opinion or advice to the Commissioners Court if requested. There is no provision requiring the Commissioners Court to make that request. Read Opinion.


I’m not touching this one with a ten-foot pole. Good luck out there.

Texas Attorney General

Request for Opinion from Hunt County Attorney

7/16/10 : Request No. RQ-0900-GA


Is section 251.053 of the Transportation Code unconstitutional because it does not require a public purpose for the taking of private land? Read Request.


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