Texas: Federal Judge Again Blocks Defense of Houston Anti-Camera Vote

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

On Sunday red light cameras will begin issuing citations once again in Houston, Texas despite the election result of November where a majority demanded the devices be taken down. US District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes continues to deny the ability of the sponsors of the anti-camera initiative, Randall Kubosh and Francis M. Kubosh, to defend their effort against an election challenge mounted by American Traffic Solutions (ATS). Hughes on Wednesday ordered several legal arguments by the Kuboshes erased from the record.

“In court pleadings, the Kuboshes may not denominate themselves as intervenors, counter-defendants, third-party defendants, respondents, or anything else that they are not,” Hughes wrote in a separate July 7 order striking another legal brief. “In public, they may call themselves whatever they want.”

The Kuboshes supplied the prohibited legal filings to supplement the record because they believe the city of Houston is intentionally losing the case it filed against ATS in order to save the cameras. The speed with which the cameras resumed ticketing before the case is even over offers evidence for this theory. The Kuboshes also provided legal arguments and state law citations that the city refused to make regarding the validity of the contract. Doing so would have impaired the city’s ability to reactive the cameras. Judge Hughes specifically invited such filings in a December 12 order.

“Positions inadequately argued by the city may be brought to the court’s consideration by the Kuboshes as friends of the court, and should the court perceive anything like abandoned duty, it would simply invite their intervention,” Hughes wrote.

Under Texas law, courts must permit the intervention of a qualified voter to defend a measure election in an election contest. The Kuboshes have appealed Hughes’ refusal to allow intervention to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. A number of Texans expressed disgust with the actions of Hughes in messages sent to his official email address and made part of the official record.

“Shame on you if you allow the city of Houston and the Arizona-based company that runs the camera program to circumvent the vote of the people,” Diane Robertson wrote in December. “The people’s lawyers should have been heard in this case too — the city is biased in that they are losing money because of this vote. I don’t care what they expound on the news — this is a backdoor way of trying to reinstate the camera program.”

The reinstatement effort succeeded after Hughes’ June order nullifying the election ( view order).

“As a registered voter in Harris County, I feel my rights as a citizen have been violated,” Doug Kimbro wrote on July 10. “I feel you have taken away my right to vote. I am very disappointed as an American citizen.”

Hughes has not entered a final order in the case. He has refused to give leave for appeals until after he decides on several contractual issues between Houston and ATS.

“Isn’t His Honor fortunate that you do not stand for election since you have such little regard for them,” Houston resident Ken Bailey wrote in November.

[Courtesy: Thenewspaper.com]

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  • GS650G GS650G on Jul 22, 2011

    One word for all this : paintball When all else fails..........

  • Obbop Obbop on Jul 22, 2011

    Too many variables to allow a generalized accurate statement BUT... since when did that prohibit the Disgruntled One from babbling akin to a putrid politico? Not often. Respect a guy wearing a dress? Gotta' have "law" in order to escape general mayhem and allow some order amongst the human herd but whenever humans are involved with anything AMPLE screw-ups are to be expected, perhaps becoming the norm.

  • Ronin Or can sedans be saved from themselves? Modern sedans have very low entry and seating, and unnecessarily downward sloping rear roofs. This may have been a sleek design center 25 years ago, but it's nice to have an alternative to SUVs for the olds (ie, anyone over 30).
  • Bd2 The Hyundai Sonota is the best sedan on the market right now.
  • Kcflyer hang in there Lexus. Keep making the IS with the V8 and sooner or later I will buy a new one :)
  • 1995 SC I'll take Mystichrome. And a different car
  • Wolfwagen I wish I could afford one of these except that stupid short master. Has no one learned from the Hummer H2 SUT?
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