Search found 51 matches

by ELB
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

For reasons unknown to me, the hearing date for Paxton v City of Austin has slid back to January 07, 2019 at 09:00 AM.
by ELB
Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

C-dub wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:21 pm

Does that mean that there can be no decision about whether or not the judge was wrong to say that the city could ban LTC’s from carrying in the non-court areas even when the courts are in session?
A trial court's decision can be appealed to an appellate court. I am sure that at least one party to the case will do so, and maybe both parties will appeal different parts of the decision. The immediate result of that appeal with be that nothing will change at any courthouse -- those courthouse's that want to ban licensed carry from an entire building will continue to do so. The potential fines will be accumulating...but only against those political entities that some citizen has lodged a complaint against with the AG.
by ELB
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

C-dub wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:26 am
If only the city kept accumulating a fine for each day they were in violation while this process continued. If that were the case and the fine was due when the decision made and they lost they wouldn’t want to wait so long I bet.
IIRC the fine starts accumulating 15 days after the OAG issues (or the City receives) the OAG's violation letter (and the City has not cured the issue). I believe the OAG's letter was issued in July of 2016, but I don't have access to it right now.

In this case the judge has ruled that the City is not in violation by forbidding licensed carry in the non-court part of the building when court is in session, but it can be in violation when court is NOT in session. I believe the OAG still has to show that the city was improperly preventing licensed carry when the court was not in session, and if the OAG makes that case, a fine should follow. It will be interesting to see how that is calculated.
by ELB
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

I was able to contact someone in the OAG, and it turns out that the hearing that was supposed to happen in September did not occur because one of the attorneys for the OAG had a death in the family and could not attend the hearing, so it was postponed. That unfortunately put the schedule at the mercy of the attorneys for the city -- altho I think the OAG was ready to proceed later in September, the city said they were not available until closer to the end of the year. So that became a 03 Dec hearing date.

Stay tuned.
by ELB
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

Paxton v City of Austin has another hearing scheduled for 03 Dec 2018 at 0900. I am calling the OAG's office tomorrow to see if I can find out what happened at the hearing on 17 Sep, and what issues remain to be settled in December.
by ELB
Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

WildRose wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:44 pm
...
One can argue it's poorly written since a judge can make the argument above but then there's no way to craft any legislation today that activist judges will not find someway around in their rulings.
Using the judge's interpretation of legislative intent seems far more "activist" and dangerous than simply using the text as they legislature wrote it.


In other news: The website of the Texas Attorney General has undergone a make over, and … they screwed it up. Most of the 30.06 stuff has disappeared, the only remaining artifact is a web page where you can register a complaint about government entities. And I had to use the search function to find that. I was surprised to see on that page a "30.06 Complaint Hot Line" followed by a phone number. That's new! So I called it. It was answered with a cautious "hello?" Turns out it was an office cell phone recently issued to a guy who works in the money-laundering office of the OAG. He said he had been getting some other odd calls lately too.

So I started calling around various contact numbers to find somebody to complain to about the missing stuff. I kind of bounced around between the receptionist and some ladies in various "complaint" offices (e.g. Child Support complaints, Consumer Complaints) because the IT specialists were not answering their phones, but eventually found a lady (I think in the Consumer Complaints office) who made notes about what was missing and promised to hunt down the IT specialists. She said they were not thrilled with the new look, there were a lot of complaints coming in about the rest of the website as well.
by ELB
Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

"Legislative intent" does not trump "what the Legislature actually wrote", and I believe that is a rather solid judicial principle well known to both the judiciary and the Legislature. "Legislative intent" is also often in the eye of the beholder, which is why it makes a lesser method of interpreting the law.

Wildrose, if you or anyone can point to a source that documents the legislative intent of the 46.03 weapons-prohibited-in-court section, as well as the "building or portion of a building I would love to read it. This exact point has been argued many times on this forum, and I think this is an easy one to confuse "my intent" with the legislature's intent. I wish it were otherwise, but the judge laid down a pretty good analysis of how 46.03 and 46.035 play together.

As well, her ruling on the temporal nature of this restriction speaks (loudly) against her simply trying to restrict the rights of license holders. Her opinion doesn't really cite where that came from, I assume it is something that the OAG's briefs brought forward, but had she been dead-set against carry in the courthouse she could have easily dispensed with the temporal issue.
by ELB
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

WildRose wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:14 pm
...
As the law is written I don't see how she can justify allowing the entire building to be posted even when court is in session.
...
I guess that's why we have judges to make a decision, because as I read the law, I thought the AG was being, let's say "very aggressive" in stating that only the courtrooms and court offices were off limits to carry.

The judge notes in her previous ruling that 46.03 that weapons are prohibited "on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court,". She points that if you substitute the legal definition of "premises" into that sentence, you get

- weapons are prohibited "[in] the building or a portion of a building of any government court or offices utilized by the court."

That can be logically read as

- weapons are prohibited in the building of any government court,
or
- weapons are prohibited in any portion of a building of any government court.


To the extent that the "or" in the definition of premises provides a choice, the choice is up to the court/government.

The fines-for-signs law places explicitly restricts the power of the government to forbid licensed carry, except for the statutory exceptions in 46.03 and 46.035. But once those exceptions come in to play, the restriction is now on the carry of weapons, and fines-for-signs does not apply.

However (and I'm not sure how she really came up with this, maybe it was in the AG's arguments) that 46.035 restriction on parts of the building not used by the court applies ONLY when court is in session. That's a significant limit on the power of the courts and government to ban weapons in an entire building.
by ELB
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

As a reminder, the AG and the City of Austin meet in a hearing/trial on this coming Monday, 17 Sep, at 0900 in the 261st District Court in Travis County (Austin). I would like to go sit in on that, but really can't afford to take the time off. If there's anyone here near Austin with time to go, it would be nice to get a first hand report.

As far as I can tell from the previous ruling by the judge, the following issues will be argued:

1. Did the security guards provide an oral communication that meets the requirements of 30.06 (and did so improperly)? Or in the judge's words, "...at what point does an oral statement give rise to notice and criminal liability for the license holder." This is very interesting question, and I think is potentially much more of an impact to licensed carry than whether an entire court house can be made off limits, because the answer will likely apply to private property "oral communications" as well.


2. If & when the City of Austin improperly denied entrance to City Hall to LTC holders. She has already ruled/opined that while the City may place the entire building off limits to licensed carry, not just the court room (or school activity), the City can do so ONLY when court (or sponsored activity) is in session. Since nothing in the record indicated when court/activity was or was not in session, I assume the AG will bring evidence of this. If she finds that licensed carry was prohibited by written or oral communication when court/activity was not in session, then it appears to me fines can be assessed.
by ELB
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

I just called the OAG's office and learned a couple things. Note that the following is my summary/interpretation/deduction of what I heard. Keep in mind that the last set of Ruling Letters/Violation Letters was issued on 15 Aug 17, i.e. about a year ago.

- He didn't have exact number at hand, but in 2018 there have probably been less than five complaints filed with the OAG. I believe there are a few more from the 2017 pending. Some complaints have been resolved short of an actual ruling letter (and so not posted on the website) by contacting the offending government entity soon after the complaint came in, and those entities voluntarily came into compliance (or, I presume, the complaint was not legally valid) without further official action.

- The Austin City case is the big effort right now, and it consumes a lot of resources (looks to me they have help from outside counsel as well as OAG lawyers). The OAG's case against Waller County case is also open. A lot of determinations (at least with respect to courts and court premises) may be resolved or at least strongly affected by the Austin City case. So anything to do with courthouses is "pending", and a lot of enforcement actions are being held in abatement.

- There are some other complaints that might require litigation to resolve. Because even a single case takes a lot of time and effort, they are looking at various strategies to deal with them short of litigation, but don't want to disclose that to me or anyone else at the moment.

- Depending on what happens with the Austin City case and the other potential cases, they may have some suggestions for the Legislature on how to clarify some things in the law.

==> The case against the City of Austin will be heard during the week of 9/17, or about two weeks from now. UPDATE: Hearing scheduled for 0900 on 17 Sep.

If you feel strongly about an invalid sign posting, I strongly suggest you use the statutory procedure and submit a complaint to the OAG. It will go on the appropriate stack for awhile, but it will provide ammo for later, like for calculating fines or telling the Legislature how many entities are flaunting the law. For a fine to take effect, the OAG has to go through the process and issue a Violation Letter, and IIRC, it is not until 15 days after that the daily fine starts accruing. Austin will owe a bunch of money if they lose, but any building with a court in it that is completely offlimits is getting a free ride if there is no complaint on file.
by ELB
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:32 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

The wheels of justice grind on ever so slowly. The online case information for the AG's suit against Austin shows the following action for Friday 8/17/18:

"8/17/2018 DF AMENDED/SUPPLEMENTED ANSWER "

"DF" is Defendant, i.e. City of Austin.
by ELB
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

On 6/29 an 7/2 the Attorney General filed five affidavits with the court handling the AG's lawsuit against against the City of Austin about their signs and actions to prohibit license carry in their combo court/city hall building.

The judge has already ruled that the City can bar licensed carry from the entire building even if there are non-court offices in the building; BUT only during the times that court is in session. She noted that it could not be determined whether the City had violated the fines-for-signs law because there was no evidence in the filings as to when court was in session and when it was not (and whether licensed carry was prohibited when court was not in session).

I am guessing that the affidavits filed by the AG document those times when court was not in session but licensed carry was prohibited. This is just a guess since I do not want to shell out the $$ or take the time to get Travis county to sell me copies of the documents. On the other hand, both sides have changed lawyers recently, so maybe the affidavits have something do with that. Or something else entirely.

The case moves forward at all due legal speed.
by ELB
Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

In the Attorney General's case against the City of Austin over its City Hall signage and policies, it appears the City filed for some kind of summary judgment on 5/10/18. The two parties exchange various legal paperwork and responses since then, and it appears the judge denied the City's motion for summary judgment on 6/22.

However, without access to the actual documents this is just guesswork. It does indicate that the case is trundling along, however slowly.
by ELB
Sat May 26, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

dlh wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 11:48 am
...District and County Clerks' offices opposed open access in the last legislative session because of their anticipated loss of $$$ for charging the public for hard copies of those records.
That would not surprise me. I believe you can get them in electronic form, but you still have to pay the Travis clerks to do so.

The Texas Municipal League often posts copies of court orders/decisions on their site, will keep an eye out for that.
by ELB
Sat May 26, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: General Texas CHL Discussion
Topic: 30.06 Ruling Letters
Replies: 158
Views: 15192

Re: 30.06 Ruling Letters

This month something has happened in court in the case of KEN PAXTON V CITY OF AUSTIN D1-GN-16-003340, but I can't tell what it is so far.

The Online Case Information shows that starting at the end of March a flurry of Motions, Responses, and Letters occurred, and some kind of Order was issued on 5/21, with the Plaintiff (that's the AG) following up with three actions on 5/24, but I can't really make head or tail out of it because the documents themselves are not available, only the fact that certain types of actions and documents exist.

I dont't feel like it's good news since one of the AG's followup actions was entitled "OBJECTIONS" but I don't really know.

If it wasn't Saturday I'd call the AG's office, but guess will have to wait until next week.

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