Our Elected CA (w/ Fel responsibility) and I (Asst.) have been sued in Federal Court for alleged 1983 violations by two defendants who were released on murder charges after the CCA found multiple Ineffective Assistance grounds on Habaes Appeal - No Actual Innocence grounds/claims founded.
We are having problems with TAC and the AG deciding WHO or IF they will represent the Elected.
Has anyone else ran into this problem or been sued in this type of action.
Section 157.901(a) of the Local Government Code provides that a county official or employee sued for an action arising from the performance of public duty is entitled to be represented by the district attorney, county attorney or both. Since that's who the defendant is, subsection (b) becomes pertinent. Under that provision, "[i]f additional counsel is necessary or proper ... the official or employee is entitled to have the commissioners court of the county employ and pay private counsel."
If that can't happen within 20 days of when you were served (in federal court, or the Monday after expiration of 20 days in state court), you should at least consider filing a pro se answer asserting prosecutorial and qualified immunity as defenses so you don't face the prospect of a default judgment and/or waiver of your best defenses. When you are able to secure counsel, he or she can easily appear for you and take the reins. Good luck.
Posts: 1233 | Location: Amarillo, Texas, USA | Registered: March 15, 2001
I read something recently about rule preventing an elected official from accepting an offer of pro-bono legal representation from a private law firm. Maybe it was an improper gift or something but I don't recall the details.