Muni Judge Brown Can Keep Judging, For Now, While She Runs For Civil District Judge

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Via.
Municipal Court Judge Phyllis Lister Brown
The city of Dallas and municipal Judge Phyllis Lister Brown have been at odds since November, but as of today she can legally continue serving in her current position as the various lawsuits involving the judge and Dallas City Hall drag out indefinitely. The city intended to kick her off the bench once she officially filed her candidacy for the 162nd District Court, insisting that by running for office she forfeited her current employment; said the City Attorney's Office, that's what the city charter demands. But the judge dug in her heels, and she's making progress.

District Judge Martin Lowy today granted a temporary injunction preventing the city from removing Brown from her position. To do so would mean her candidacy "will be irreparably harmed by creating negative publicity, a negative perception on the part of voters, and the inability to recover back wages," according to the judge's decision.

Lowy also ruled on the city's claim of immunity to the suits filed by Brown. He said that no, the city can't bow out of this legal quagmire simply by virtue of being a city. Brown's attorney, Ray Guy, tells Unfair Park that the city is appealing this decision. "I don't have a definite time table for the court of appeals," Guy says. City Attorney Tom Perkins has not returned our phone calls.

Brown can keep showing up to work at least until the appeals court rules whether she can continue pursuing her original case, which alleges that her position falls under state and not city oversight, and that the city does not have the authority to kick her off the bench. She filed the suit in advance of a January city council hearing, when there was a majority vote in favor of kicking her off the bench.

That very day, Judge Lowy granted Brown a temporary restraining order, momentarily preventing action from the city while legal jumble was untangled.

At this rate, Brown may be able to ride this thing out until district court elections. The primary is scheduled for April 3, but may be pushed back because of redistricting. So, she may go from one bench to another, stay where she is or have the seat pulled right out from under. And it could be months before it's resolved.

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Replay
Replay

Imagine that..........the City's Attorney Office is wrong..........that hardly ever happens. LOL

Mike
Mike

Why does not the judge just hear the arguments and rule? I do not mind someone taking it to court, but why the delay? A few hours and case is done. This is not a death penalty case. Read the material, tell them to have their witnesses there the next day, hear them, and rule. Situations like this one are why people lose respect for the process and all the participants.

Jim Bob Guthrie
Jim Bob Guthrie

 Because the state judiciary has the least resources of any branch of Texas Government. 

I'll vote for her!
I'll vote for her!

Because we have backlog in courts and they cannot just put this case into a slot that is already booked for other hearings.  That is why the judge cannot hold the trial in this matter in just a matter of hours.  It takes many months to move a case to the trial date.  Only emergency hearings are heard in fast time.  Those are only performed to decide a particular matter in the case that needs to be immediately decided in order to not cause irreparable harm to one of the parties during the time it takes to wait for the final trial to occur.   

Guest
Guest

The bigger question is why would anyone vote for someone who has been a municipal judge for more than a decade to become a real judge?  Do people not understand how different the job is and how separated from the practice of civil law she has been?  She's been deciding traffic ticket cases for more than a decade.  Now she wants to preside over complex multimillion dollar cases governed by laws she has never seen and rules she hasn't used.  Someone who just took the bar examination would be better prepared to be a district judge than she is.  

I'll vote for her!
I'll vote for her!

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. 

"Guest" is obviously someone with a very limited knowledge of the municipal court system.  They do handle cases other than traffic tickets.  They handle civil issues, too. 

At least she actually has substantial judicial experience!  Unlike her opponents.  And, she has been in private practice representing both plaintiffs and defendants. 

I attended the recent candidate debate and she scored much better than her opponents in legal knowledge, and had the better temperment to sit in judgement.  Phyliss Lister Brown was the strong favorite.

The way I see it, you can vote for her opponent, the one who is using deception and personal wealth to win your vote, but lacks any form of experience.  Or, you can vote for the experienced, better candidate:  Phyliss Lister Brown. 

Guest
Guest

 No, guest happens to know the law.  Municipal courts don't have jurisdiction to hear most civil cases.

Gbrazzt
Gbrazzt

Maybe a better understanding of what the Judges actually do and the types of cases heard at the Municipal Court level would result in a comment that's based on fact.

The Municipal Courts hear civil and criminal cases. They follow the same rules of civil procedure as other courts. Be informed before speaking.

Guest
Guest

Municipal courts have jurisdiction over violations of city ordinances and, within the city limits, Class C misdemeanor criminal cases where the punishment is by small fine only (i.e. traffic tickets). A municipal court can award of fines of up to $2,000 (yes, that really is big time). 

These courts do not have jurisdiction in most civil cases.  They don't handle any commercial disputes.  They don't handle any personal injury cases.  There is no meaningful discovery.  No injunctions.  No temporary restraining orders.  Put a TV camera in the room and it's Judge Judy in there.  It isn't real court. 

Uncle_Scrappy
Uncle_Scrappy

Municipal Court judges are Kangroo Court Judges. They hear Speeding Tickets & such. Just revenue Generating BS to help the coffers of the local municipality. NO REAL JUSTICE OR ANYTHING ELSE. Just SHOW ME THE MONEY !!!!

Alan
Alan

I don't get the furor.  If you're going to elect judges at every level above municipal (itself a subject for legitimate debate), then you inherently invite the possibility that judicial neutrality could be tainted by electoral politics.  Why should the municipal level work differently?

Uncle_Scrappy
Uncle_Scrappy

Well Hopefully she wont be Elected because I know I wont vote for her with all the baggage she has. Then Dallas can fire her when she comes up for reappointment.

Must remember, you reap what you sow. So if you are going to bite the hand that feeds you (City of Dallas right now) dont be surprised when they cut you off.

I'll vote for her!
I'll vote for her!

Baggage?  I don't see any "baggage" in this judge's background.  Her primary candidates do have baggage.  Take a look at Sczewrski, who is now, 11 yrs after her marriage, after legally taking her husband's name in the form of her bar license, her driver's license, her name on all legal documents...  then she suddenly runs for office under her maiden name, which is more voter-friendly.  That's outright deception. 

Phyliss Brown is hands down the better candidate in the race.  She is honest (no flip-flopping on her name).  Her achievements speak for themself. 

Also, she did not "bite the hand that feeds her".  She stood up for her legal rights.  That's the qualities I want in a judge. 

Uncle_Scrappy
Uncle_Scrappy

Baggage, How about the fact that she DOESNT WORK & PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS. If she did, she wouldnt be whining to the District Court & trying to bully her way above what the City Charter intended.

Sounds like you may be a shill for her. People are sick of the CORRUPTION & such of politicians. This includes Muni Judges who run to the courthouse to file Lawsuite & Injunctions against the City & Govt Bodies that employ them.

Yeah she stood up at the back of the bus all the way to some BS Sympathetic Shill that gave in to her whining. NOPE, wont vote for either one. Hopefully both will be on the Unemployment line soon.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Lowy is one of the sharpest judges in Dallas County.

And then we have Tom Perkins....

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