Lawsuit Filed In Hays County District Court For The Removal Of County Judge
Terra Rivers | Managing Editor
A Hays County resident has filed a civil lawsuit against Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra petitioning for his removal from office with the District Courts.
According to case documents, the grounds for Becerra’s removes stems from “his failure to faithfully execute the duties of the Office of Hays County Judge,” and further “preserve, protect and defend the constitution and laws of the United States and of his State.”
The suit alleges Becerra has accepted at least $50,000 in consecutive years (2019 and 2020) from taxpayers for work and services he did not provide.
In the State of Texas under the Texas Government Code Section 26.006, a “County Judge is entitled to an annual salary supplement from the state in an amount equal to 18 percent of the state base salary paid to a district judge as set by the General Appropriations Act in accordance with Section 659.012(a) if at least 40 percent of the functions that the judge performs are judicial functions.”
To receive the stipend, the law requires a county judge to file an affidavit stating that at least 40 percent, at least two days per week, of the functions he or she performs are judicial functions.
According to an opinion issued in 2016 from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, a judicial function of a county judge is “exercising criminal or civil jurisdiction as authorized by Chapter 26 of the Government Code.”
A descriptive summary of the Texas Court System issued by the State of Texas establishes a county judge has the following jurisdictions:
- Concurrent jurisdiction with justice courts in civil cases where the matter in controversy exceeds $200 but does not exceed $10,000;
- Concurrent jurisdiction with the district courts in civil cases where the matter in controversy exceeds $500 but does not exceed $5,000;
- General jurisdiction over probate cases;
- Juvenile jurisdiction;
- Exclusive original jurisdiction over misdemeanors, other than those involving official misconduct where punishment for the offense is by a fine exceeding $500 or jail sentences not to exceed one year;
- County courts generally have appellate jurisdiction over cases tried initially been in the justice and municipal courts.
The lawsuit alleges Becerra “has never done any of these things or performed any of these judicial functions” since taking office in Jan. 2019.
An official response from Hays County’s Office of Legal Counsel regarding a public information request shows no records or documentation to show evidence of Becerra performing judicial duties.
Over the last two years, Hays County has added new positions to help cover judicial jurisdictions, including the addition of a Criminal Associate Judge that magistrates all criminal defendants.
In order to exercise any civil jurisdiction, criminal jurisdiction, or magistrate, the Hays County Judge would be required to coordinate with one of the Hays County Justices of the Peace, the Hays County Courts at Law Administrator, the Hays County Criminal District Clerk’s Office or the Criminal Associate Judge that magistrates all criminal defendants.
An affidavit from Rene Garner, the Administrator for Hays County Courts at Law 1, 2, and 3 states, “In my position as Administrator, I oversee and have knowledge of all dockets (civil and criminal) for Hays County Courts at Law 1, 2, and 3. Ruben Becerra has never presided over any docket at the Hays County Courts at Law level.”
The lawsuit alleges Becerra knowingly performed criminal misconduct through the violation of:
(a) Tex. Penal Code §37.10: Tampering with governmental record/ knowingly making a false entry in a governmental record;
(b) Tex. Penal Code §37.02: Perjury / making a false statement under oath; and
(c) Tex. Penal Code §37.09: Making a record or document with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of an official proceeding;
According to Chapter 87, an officer may be removed for incompetency, official misconduct, or intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage.
The plaintiff is requesting the court immediately suspend Becerra from his position as Hays County Judge and appoint another person to perform his duties until the end of his term.
According to Chapter 87, official misconduct means “intentional, unlawful behavior relating to official duties by an officer entrusted with the administration of justice or the execution of the law. The term includes an intentional or corrupt failure, refusal, or neglect of an officer to perform a duty imposed on the officer by law.”
The filing also states that the plaintiff seeks “non-monetary relief.”
The suit was filed with the Hays County District Clerk’s office on Sept. 14 by The Wymore Law Firm and Brian Bishop Law Firm, both of Austin, on behalf of Hays County resident, Nathan Kaspar.
Corridor News has reached out to Wymore Law Firm and Brian Bishop Law Firm and Hays County Judge Becerra’s legal representation for a statement. This article will be updated when and if a response is received.
Corridor News also reached out to Judge Becerra’s legal representation for a statement and did not receive a response.
The filed Civil Case documentation can be read here, and the affidavit filed by the District Clerk can be read here.
“This is a fast-evolving story, and it will be updated as new information becomes available.”
- 09/26/2020: County Judge Under Investigation By TX AG For Promoting COVID Testing Kits,
- 09/25/2020: How A Local Hays Politician Helped A Serial Entrepreneur Use COVID-19 To
…………………..Boost His Business
- 09/17/2020: Lawsuit Filed In Hays County District Court For The Removal Of County Judge
- 08/25/2020: Support For Local Law Enforcement Was “Out In Force” Against “Defunding” In
…………………..Hays County Judge’s Budget
- 08/22/2020: Kyle Arrest Reveals Ongoing TX AG Investigations Of Hays County Leadership
- 08/14/2020: Hays County Budget Workshop Derailed Over April Ethics Questions Regarding
…………………..COVID-19 Testing Kits
- 05/04/2020: County Judges, Election, Elected Officials Caught Misleading Voters Over
…………………..COVID-19 Mail-In Voting
- 04/13/2020: Ethical Questions Still Surround Hays County Judge’s COVID-19 Testing Kits
- 04/02/2020: Hays County Judge Acquires 2,000 New COVID-19 Tests
- 02/26/2020: Official Census Materials Bearing County Judge’s Personal Seal Raises Grant
- 01/31/2020: Hays County Loses Long-Term Regional Seat On CAPCOG Board
- 11/27/2019: Texas Ethics Commission Issues Decision On Complaint Against Local Official
- 08/13/2019: Hays Co. Commissioner Requests Investigation By The Texas Rangers Into
…………………..Tampering Of Govt. Document
- 08/05/2019: Hays County Judge Recommends Dissolving Full Department, Rise In Property
…………………..Taxes In 2020 Budget
- 02/26/2019: City Of San Marcos Could Soon Evict Tenant For Non-Payment Of Lease And
- 10/26/2018: Hays County Judge Candidate Appears To Owe Additional Debt To Local
- 10/22/2019: Documents Show Hays County Judge Candidate Lacks Personal, Business
- 10/17/2018: San Marcos City Council Shows Great Divide, Infighting In The Dixie Cream
…………………..Sweetheart Of A Deal Finale
- 05/11/2018: An In-Depth Investigative Look At ‘The Dixie Cream Sweetheart Of A Deal’
- 05/04/2018: Did San Marcos City Council Just Give Local Business Owner A Dixie Cream
…………………..Sweetheart Of A Deal?
- 06/06/2017: San Marcos’ Manske Roll Café Has Closed Their Doors At Hays County
He’s just as big a thief as those that came before him that didnt earn their $25,000.00 a year either.
Bert Cobb was in office 8 years and earned 175,000.000 and not once presided over probate court or other. I know, Ifiled an open records request with General Counsel requesting Bert”s training records which is required annually by The Texas Association of County’s and any cases he may have presided over during his tenure. Zero, training, zero cases.
Perhaps you should have filled the same lawsuit then. A couple of years later now. Like everyone says about Trump and Obama, quit bringing up Obama. Same here, we’re talking about Becerra not Cobb.
Stop talking about people who don’t complete mandatory training, says a guy who notoriously failed to complete his required training while in office.
Nathan Kaspar? As in the whack job that lives in The dripping Springs neighborhood of Highpointe? He regularly posts racists and hateful comments on twitter as “Truth on Target” @NathanKaspar. He also is an admin for an “uncensored Highpointe” FB group in which he told an African American resident to “go ask your master”. He is the admin of a Highpointe neighbors page in which he falsely, or unintelligibly, posts information that contrasts the legal authority that a school board has when deciding on the age at which students should wear masks. This guy is coming after anyone and everyone that doesn’t look white.
To be fair a different racist, Wendy Miller, runs the uncensored (racism for 40 year olds trying to be edgelords) page. He’s just a main contributor to the local dripping springs vitriol, much like Jon Thompson.
This is rich! A well known (locally) anti-mask rabble rouser, and the law firm of a recently defeated Republican State Representative primary candidate, have filed a suit against the county to remove the democrat judge who imposed the shutdown and mask orders on Hays county.
I’m surprised we haven’t seen lawsuits from Nathan, against DSISD and the TEA yet.
Yeah, that guy is….a certain kind of awful. I’m curious what his personal beef is, as he strikes me as someone who is petty and litigious.
“Hays County Transplant” wha ….? Judge Becerra, is that you?
Lol. Grasping are we? No, I live in the same neighborhood and he’s very vocal on the multiple community Facebook groups…so I’ve gotten the opportunity to read his ‘content’ and complaints over masks.
As opposed to the Highpointe Resident above, who as an anonymous coward is coming after anyone who doesn’t look right or speak right.
Indeed. ……BLM thought crime is here ….and it knows who you are.
Judge Becerra is an innovator and a progressive who because of his qualities is now accused of things I am sure no person but a Republican would be low enough to dignify. We pay money for excellent results and there is no reason why Judge Becerra’s rock solid character should be demeaned by Republicans simply on the color of his skin.
Be that hatred plain as day, there’s a new sheriff on the way ….VIVA VILLALOBOS !!!
Justice — Equality — Defund Police — Cite and Divert — No More Prosecutions
Eveybody say OKAY WE ARE ALMOST HOME (Eat ‘Em Up Cats — 2020 Biden)
Then shouldn’t he be charged with fraud?
Oh that’s right… different rules for the elites.