Again, Muni Judge Dismisses the City's Case Against Dealey Plaza Vendor Groden. Next Stop: County Court of Criminal Appeals!

Categories: City Hall, Crime
robertgroden1.jpg
Robert Groden
I certainly hope this doesn't become a daily occurrence; no doubt you feel the same way. But there has been a development today in the city's case against Robert Groden, the JFK conspiracy theorist who's been selling his materials in Dealey Plaza for almost two decades and now finds himself entangled in two cases involving the city of Dallas.

To recap, as quick as I can: He was arrested and detained by Dallas police over the summer for selling his materials. That led to a criminal case, which led to Groden filing a federal civil case against the city claiming malicious prosecution. Dallas Municipal Judge Carrie Chavez dismissed the city's case against Groden in December, writing, among other things, that the city couldn't prosecute Groden for selling in Dealey Plaza because he wasn't violating city code, which, far as she can tell, says nothing about needing a permit to sell down in Dealey Plaza. Shortly after the city filed a motion to reconsider; two days ago, the city, with a doc signed by Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, said again it was pressing on with the case.

Which brings us to today's ruling by Judge Chavez, which follows on the other side and says, long story short, the city's motion to reconsider "has no merit." Says Brad Kizzia, Groden's attorney, "It's obvious that the judge stands by her prior ruling dismissing the unwarranted and legally invalid charges against Mr. Groden."

But the city isn't about to drop anything. First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers says the city will take its case to the County Court of Criminal Appeals. When asked if the city has every intention of pursuing the criminal charges against Groden, Bowers says: "Yes."

When asked why, he says: "The city's only interest in this matter, from the beginning till now, has been to enforce its ordinance, which prohibits selling goods or services in areas under the jurisdiction of the park board." Chavez has said otherwise -- that city code is unclear about under whose jurisdiction Dealey Plaza falls. "We have a lot of respect for Judge Chavez," Bower says, "but we believe in this particular instance she's incorrect and will exercise our right to appeal her ruling."
Judge Chavez December 7 Ruling in State v Robert Groden
My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
Just thinkin...
Just thinkin...

I think it goes to Dallas County Criminal Court. Appeals from Muni go to County if I remember correctly

BC
BC

That the city of Dallas wants to keep wasting taxpayer money on something like this clearly shows the low quality of city government. Aren't there code issues or slumloard landlords or owners of drug houses that they could be going after? Apparently, the rest of Dallas is in such great condition that they have plenty of resources to spend on this.

Joey G. Dauben
Joey G. Dauben

Are you sure it's the "county court of criminal appeals" and not the Fifth Court *of* Appeals? The Court of Criminal Appeals is located in Austin, but the Fifth Court *of* Appeals is located in Dallas. Just wanted to clarify that, but if there really is a Dallas County Court of Criminal Appeals, I had no idea.

Joey G. DaubenPublisherThe Ellis County Observer

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Shhhhh Its like the City Council Members and the Unlisted 911 # that goes to the Chief .

cp
cp

According to the City's own website, it lists a "Dealey Plaza Park" right there at the Triple Underpass as a City park..... so it should be fairly easy to determine if it is or is not in fact a City park. And if the Park and Rec budget money is what maintains it, then yeah, the city's got a case and Chavez is wrong... much as it pains me to agree with the City attorneys on this one...

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

As recently as a few years ago, the City of Dallas had no authoritative, accurate record of the names, locations, etc. of parks for which it was supposed to be maintaining oversight.

Whodunit
Whodunit

Gestapo tactics. A complete and total waste of taxpayer money. Dallas citizens should be outraged, and any decent city councilperson should denounce this non-sense.

David
David

Municipal judges are appointed by the City Council, and must be approved every few (four?) years.

How much money do you want to bet that Judge Chavez is not re-appointed on the next go-round??

Ed D.
Ed D.

How much do you want to bet the city loses interest after a certain football game next month?

Guest
Guest

Thank goodness this is the biggest potential criminal Dallas has to deal with.

Jay
Jay

Robert, were you ever able to determine if street vendors are subject to remitting sales tax to the state, city and county?

Another thought....while the Perils of Groden are compelling, is anyone at the DO still looking at that Cluster-F@%# entertainment district project in Irving?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Jay, still looking into the former. But thanks for the reminder. As for the latter, the DMN has done an awfully good job covering that tale -- they post as many updates on that was I do on the Groden case. But if there's room for us to weigh in (Schutze, nudge nudge), I am sure we will.

Jay
Jay

Thanks, I just can't get enough of that Irving scam. Same sorry story...latest edition.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...