FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2013
Contact: Jerad Najvar
HIDALGO DISTRICT COURT DENIES INJUNCTION REQUEST THAT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED COUNCILMEN FROM VOTING
Ruling reaffirms important legal principle for the Rio Grande Valley
As expected, Judge Jesse Contreras of the 449th District Court of Hidalgo County this afternoon denied Hidalgo Councilman Rudy Franz’s request for an injunction to prevent Councilmen Guillermo Ramirez and Gustavo Sanchez from voting on Council.
The two defendant councilmen have been restrained for more than six weeks, since July 22, after the plaintiffs went from court to court seeking “emergency” temporary restraining orders right before meetings of the Hidalgo City Council. The councilmen retained Najvar Law Firm on August 22, and were finally able to forcefully argue—in a hearing August 30—why no court has the authority to enjoin them from voting as members of City Council. Today, Judge Contreras agreed with Councilmen Sanchez and Ramirez, holding that the court could not order the councilmen to abstain from voting.
“This case raises an important constitutional issue,” said Jerad Najvar, attorney for the two defendant councilmembers. “Not only is the entire lawsuit frivolous, but even if they had a valid case, no court has the power to disrupt the legislative process by ordering councilmen not to vote. We are pleased that Judge Contreras agreed with our position, and this is an important ruling for the Valley, where plaintiffs frequently seek these types of injunctions. The City of Hidalgo can finally get on with its business.”
The case is Palmas, et al. v. Sanchez, et al., No. C-4917-13-K, in the 449th Dist. Ct. of Hidalgo County.