I had posted this and then removed it because someone wrote and gave me quite a bit of grief over it. After considering carefully, I am reposting it. The beauty of the USA and my freedom of speech is that I am allowed to publicly voice my opinion that elected officials have made mistakes. Being quiet and trying to “play nice” has gotten me consistently fucked over in this divorce. Pardon my squeaking wheel.
When Judge Jaime Tijerina was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to fill the position vacated by Ricardo Rodriguez, I was optimistic. Even knowing that he had gone to school with my exhusband from elementary school at Our Lady of Sorrows all the way through McAllen High School.
I mean how much worse could it get, right?
Famous last words.
I’m working on a nice detailed timeline to post, but a few of the highlights:
1) When shown documentation of a $100,000 settlement that my ex had tried to conceal from me, the judge simply ASKED my ex what was “left”, without requiring any sort of accounting or proof, and accepted my ex’s verbal estimate of $10,000 as gospel. He then misstated the source of the funds in the judgement, and refused to correct it in our final orders.
2) In our April 3 hearing, Judge Tijerina was shown documentation of an asset that was purchased before final orders were given. Judge Tijerina refused to enforce his own order that any asset concealed from me during the trial and judgement would be awarded to me.
3) Because my ex travels out of the country regularly and has family in Mexico, I have repeatedly asked for restrictions on my daughters passport. The part of the orders concerning her passport, presented for entry by my ex’s attorneys, bore no resemblance to what the transcript of the judges oral orders stated. Judge Tijerina ignored my protests and further refused to make the rewritten orders reflect what he had proclaimed. I requested that at least the written orders be amended to mirror federal passport law, and was refused, with Judge Tijerina saying “the law will prevail over the orders”.
What the fuck?
As I know first hand, what is “legal” and what a government employee, elected official, or officer of the court does can be at opposite ends of the spectrum. As an example, how about Judge Tijerina’s predecessor, Hidalgo County’s next District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez? He blithely made those Temporary Orders Pending Appeal in this SAME CASE, that were out of his jurisdiction by 8 months. And then proceeded to enforce them, for which my protest of earned me 2 weeks in jail and a restraining order.
4) According to what my attorney relayed to me regarding what was said “off the record” in chambers, Judge Tijerina told the attorneys that he wanted this case out of his court! I have requested repeatedly that this case be moved – neither my ex nor I lived in Hidalgo County when he filed for divorce, and we now live 4 hours away.
But I guess now this case is inconvenient for the judge. What do you think my odds are of getting another court to fix what this court has spent four years screwing up?
5) Back between August and November, when a total of FIVE different judges had been assigned to this case, and it had been rescheduled by the court (not including the two continuances the parties had agreed to) THIRTEEN TIMES, I started getting a little worried. So I did what any voting taxpayer would do: I started calling my elected officials.
Sen. Judith Zaffirini’s office ran it by their legal team and they agreed that a phone call letting the latest judge (Tijerina) know that this tax paying, voting mother was desperately ready for a fair trial. Please quit with the rescheduling and get this three year old case wrapped up.
Judge Jaime Tijerina’s reaction to Senator Zaffirini doing her job as my elected official? To call my attorney and REPRIMAND me, via my lawyer. I was told to “call off the dogs” – if I’d made any other phone calls, that I needed to make sure no one else called about my case.
6) At our hearing at 1:30 Thursday April 3, 2014, we were the only thing on the docket for that afternoon. That date had been selected after the court set a hearing date without bothering to check with my side as to our availability. So my attorney and I make an 8 hour round trip, only to be told by Judge Jaime Tijerina when we get there, that we have TWENTY MINUTES, because he has somewhere he needs to be. After rescheduling me more than a dozen times in the last year or so, one more would have certainly been preferable to an 8 hour trip to see a judge who apparently has no interest at all in actually doing his job.
And those dogs I called off? I won’t make that mistake again. I forgot how much it intimidates would be authority figures when an individual knows and exercises their rights.
I would like to once again thank the OWLS for graciously taking the time to be in the courtroom. I am grateful that I had respected and impartial witnesses present to hear that a judge was too busy to do his job, refused to enforce his own order, and insisted upon leaving language in an order that he knew was in direct conflict with federal lawn.