Friday, December 14, 2007

Judge Sharon Keller asks a federal judge to dismiss the wrongful death and survivor suit

According to today's Texas Lawyer story, Judge Sharon Keller has asked a federal judge to dismiss the wrongful death and survivor suit.
In her Dec. 13 motion to dismiss Richard v. Keller, et al., Keller contends that Michael Wayne Richard, through his counsel, failed to avail himself of Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.2(a), which allows pleadings to be filed at any time directly with a judge on the CCA.

Marsha Richard, widow of the executed inmate, filed a suit against Keller on Nov. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District in Austin. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel presides over the case.
Marsha Richard alleges in her complaint that Keller ordered the CCA’s clerk not to accept any paperwork for Michael Richard after 5 p.m. on Sept. 25.

But Keller contends in her motion to dismiss that while the clerk’s office closed in keeping with Texas Government Code §658.005(a), which sets the operating hours for state agencies as 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the CCA remained open. Judges remained at the courthouse to accept any motions, according to Keller’s motion.

Several CCA judges — including Judge Cheryl Johnson, the assigned judge for Richard’s case — have said they were at the court past 5 p.m. on Sept. 25, because they anticipated receiving an appeal from Richard.

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