Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Jackson - Response

Jackson - Response

Ratings: (0)|Views: 29 |Likes:
Published by avalanche50
Harris County District Clerk Loren Jackson's response to lawsuit from Courthouse News Service
Harris County District Clerk Loren Jackson's response to lawsuit from Courthouse News Service

More info:

Published by: avalanche50 on Feb 23, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

02/22/2010

pdf

text

original

 
MEB/Courthouse News Service/Courthouse Response to Injunction/dcp
1
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXASHOUSTON DIVISION
 
COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE,
 Plaintiff 
,v.LOREN JACKSON, in his official capacityas Harris County District Clerk, and WESMCCOY in his official capacity as Chief Deputy- Services for the Harris CountyDistrict Clerk’s Office,
 Defendants.
 
§§§§§§§§§§§§§CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:09-CV-01844R
ESPONSE OF
D
EFENDANTS
L
OREN
J
ACKSON IN
H
IS
O
FFICIAL
C
APACITY
 
AS
H
ARRIS
C
OUNTY
D
ISTRICT
C
LERK AND
W
ES
M
CCOY IN
H
IS
O
FFICIAL
 C
APACITY AS
C
HIEF
D
EPUTY
-S
ERVICES FOR
T
HE
H
ARRIS
C
OUNTY
 D
ISTRICT
C
LERK
S
O
FFICE TO
P
LAINTIFF
S
M
OTION
 
FOR
P
RELIMINARY
I
NJUNCTION
 
Defendants Loren Jackson in his Official Capacity as Harris County District Clerk andWes McCoy in his Official Capacity as Chief Deputy—Services for the Harris County DistrictClerk’s Office (collectively “Defendants”) now file their Response to the Motion for PreliminaryInjunction filed by Plaintiff Courthouse News Services (“Plaintiff”) and would respectfully showthis Court as follows:
P
ROCEDURAL
B
ACKGROUND
 
1.
 
Plaintiff filed this lawsuit filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, federalcommon law and the common law of the State of Texas, the Texas Constitution, and Texasstatutory law. Plaintiff generally alleges that until October, 2008, it had enjoyed same-day accessto virtually all new civil petitions for almost ten years in Harris County. Plaintiff alleges that asof today, due to changes which have been implemented by Harris County District Clerk LorenJackson, Plaintiff is being given same-day access to only a small percentage of new petitions
Case 4:09-cv-01844 Document 14 Filed in TXSD on 06/23/09 Page 1 of 13
 
MEB/Courthouse News Service/Courthouse Response to Injunction/dcp
2
filed in Harris County. Plaintiff further alleges that under the changes implemented byDefendants, Plaintiff must wait anywhere from two to five days to access the vast majority of new petitions through a section of the Harris County District Clerk’s web site.
See
D
OCKET
N
O
.
 
1, page 2.2.
 
Plaintiff alleges that the Harris County District Clerk’s new procedures violate itsconstitutional rights under the First Amendment, as well as its rights under federal common lawand the Texas Constitution. Plaintiff alleges that the new procedure violates its rights under Rule76a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief from the alleged denial of access, a declaratory judgment, and attorneys’ fees and costs.3.
 
Defendants deny that any constitutional violation has occurred and assert that itsprocedures constitute a reasonable time, place or manner restriction. Defendants further denythat Plaintiff is entitled to the relief it seeks.4.
 
This Court entered its Order on June 18, 2009, setting a preliminary injunctionhearing for June 25, 2009. The Court further ordered Defendants to file their Response Brief byJune 22, 2009. Defendants have filed an Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time. Defendantsfile this Response pursuant to the Court’s Order.
F
ACTUAL
B
ACKGROUND
 
5.
 
Attached hereto as
 Exhibit “A”
and incorporated by reference for all purposesherein is the Affidavit of Loren Jackson (“Jackson Affidavit”). Loren Jackson is the duly electedDistrict Clerk of Harris County, Texas. Mr. Jackson was elected to that office on November 4,2008 and sworn in to fill the unexpired term on November 18, 2008. In that capacity, he servesas the custodian of records for the Harris County Civil District Courts. Mr. Jackson isresponsible for the care, supervision, custody and control of court records for fifty-nine (59)
Case 4:09-cv-01844 Document 14 Filed in TXSD on 06/23/09 Page 2 of 13
 
MEB/Courthouse News Service/Courthouse Response to Injunction/dcp
3
District Courts, fifteen (15) County Criminal Courts, and sixteen (16) additional courts.
See Exhibit “A”, page 1
.6.
 
In October, 2008, former District Clerk Theresa Chang began to review theprotocol which permitted Plaintiff or any non-deputized clerk of the Harris County DistrictClerk’s office to secure areas behind the service counters. Previously, Cameron Langford, anemployee of Plaintiff, had daily access behind the service counters and roamed about looking atany petitions or case files with little to no known supervision. In accordance with the HarrisCounty Auditor’s cash handling guidelines and recommendations, the Harris County DistrictClerk’s Office began to prevent access behind service counters for all non-deputized clerks.Only Deputy District Clerks and other authorized persons performing work on behalf of theDistrict Clerk are allowed access behind service counters.
See Exhibit “A”, pages 1 and 2.
 7.
 
Recently, the Harris County District Clerk’s Office began implementing newinnovations to provide customers with ore access to view and print case filings through its onlineservices and to encourage the use of electronically filed documents (e-filing), rather than the useof paper fillings. Mr. McCoy met with Mr. Langford to explain the Harris County DistrictClerk’s Office’s technological innovations and encouraged Plaintiff to use its online services toreview case filings and print newly filed petitions at Plaintiff’s leisure. Plaintiff was also advisedthat the Harris County District Clerk’s Office would try to process as many requests as it couldon a same-day basis, up to ten (10) average sized requests, depending on the daily total officeworkload and number of total office requests. This is an estimated average of what a clerk would be able to aggregately process on a same-day basis, and a number which fluctuatesdepending on clerk workload and total customers requests.
See Jackson Affidavit, page 2.
 
Case 4:09-cv-01844 Document 14 Filed in TXSD on 06/23/09 Page 3 of 13

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->