January 13, 2014

UPDATED -- Attention Republican Primary Voters -- This Judge Must Go

Denise Pratt is unfit to serve on any bench.

Since being cleared last month by a grand jury for backdating records, a family court judge has quietly dismissed hundreds of cases, effectively nullifying a bevy of child support obligations and custody arrangements she previously made to protect children and families.

Lawyers say state District Court Judge Denise Pratt gave no prior notice of her intent to drop their cases from her 311th Court. Nearly 300 have been dismissed since Dec. 20, according to the Harris County District Clerk's Office, including many that had been scheduled to go to trial soon.

All but 19 were dismissed on a single day, Dec. 30.

Judges are required under rules of civil procedure to schedule hearings and warn parties involved in pending litigation of their intent to dismiss cases, but lawyers said they learned their cases had been dropped after the fact by postcards mailed by the district clerk or by word of mouth from clients.

Interestingly enough, many of these cases were being handled by attorneys who had called for Pratt's resignation last fall when problems in her court were publicly revealed. Among these cases were ones from which Pratt had been recused or which were ready to go to trial.

I will say it right now -- my endorsement in the Republican primary in the race for the 311th District Court (the family court over which Pratt presides) is ANYONE BUT PRATT. I'm personally partial to either Anthony Magdaleno or Donna Dettamore (both of whom I know), but I'd even be happy to see Philip Placzek or Alicia Franklin (neither of whom I know) as the GOP nominee in this race. Why? because it is important that we get an honest, professional, qualified judge on that bench, given that Pratt has shown herself to not fall in that category.

And if Denise Pratt makes it through the process as the Republican nominee even after all these revelations? Well, we will then have a first here at Rhymes With Right -- an actual endorsement of a Democrat in a Harris County race rather than no endorsement. It is THAT IMPORTANT that Denise Pratt be ejected from the bench.

UPDATE -- 1/14/13: Over at Big Jolly Politics, Ed Hubbard says something I really should have.

In my opinion, Denise Pratt, Presiding Judge of the 311th District Court of Harris County, which only hears family-law disputes, should resign immediately and withdraw from the race for re-election, for the good of the families and children whose futures are placed in her trust, and for the good of our Republican ticket in the fall election.

* * *

Unlike those whom Judge Pratt has accused of distorting her record, I think it is pretty clear to any objective observer that I am not now, nor have I ever been a Democrat. I am a life-long Republican, and I am asking Judge Pratt to do the honorable thing now—to please resign immediately, withdraw her candidacy, and allow Governor Perry to replace her with an interim judge who can address the immediate problems in the 311th District Court between now and the election.

Now in my defense, the only reason that I did not call for Pratt's resignation above is that she has demonstrated herself to have so little integrity that I can't believe she would do the right thing and resign. As for dropping out of the race, it is now too late for Pratt to remove her name from the ballot and so we are stuck with her as one of the choices available in the primary.

|| Greg, 05:18 PM || Permalink || Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

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Comments on UPDATED -- Attention Republican Primary Voters -- This Judge Must Go

I couldn't agree with you more. I announced against Judge Pratt last April because I saw the disease that was beginning to infect this bench.
Thanks for adding your voice to the concerned citizens that demand fairness and the application of the law to family cases in the 311th Court

|| Posted by Philip Placzek, January 14, 2014 11:40 AM ||

Welcome to my little corner of the internet -- we'll have to talk before I do my endorsements.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, January 14, 2014 05:51 PM ||
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