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April 06, 2014

Pratt Left "Random Chaos" In 311th District Court

So you didn't believe Pratt's opponents when they criticized her? How about the administrative judge whose job it is to clean up the mess she left behind?

Hundreds of divorce, child support and custody cases dating back to 2012 will have to be revisited - and possibly sent back to trial - as a court administrator sorts out what he called the "random chaos" left behind by former District Family Court Judge Denise Pratt.

The freshman jurist, who abruptly resigned late last month, left nearly 300 court orders stacked on the floor and desk of her 311th District Court, according to Judge David Farr, the administrative judge for Harris County's nine family courts.

Most of the orders, Farr said, are final agreements needing only a judge's signature, meaning families are waiting to hear that their cases have been concluded or think they already are.

"Somebody may be out there thinking they've been divorced for a couple months; not the case," said Farr, who is charged with finding judges to staff Pratt's court until Gov. Rick Perry announces a replacement. Farr said cleaning the administrative mess after Pratt's sudden departure likely will take months.

It strikes me that several things are necessary.

First, every Republican needs to get behind Alicia Franklin in the May 27 runoff. We cannot afford to risk a Pratt victory there.

Second, someone needs to file a complaint seeking Pratt's disbarment for her malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance while serving as judge of the 311th .

The district attorney needs to get on the stick and indict Pratt for her criminal misconduct while on the bench -- and perhaps we need the US Attorney to get in on the act as well, given that her delays may well constitute violations of the civil rights of those with cases pending before her court.

After all, we need to do our best to get rid of this inept woman -- whose electoral success is directly related to her endorsement by the pay-to-play slates in 2010 and by one of them in 2014. And it remains clear that she is up to something.





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