TCAA/TML Legal Defense Program: Amicus Briefs and Comments Filed

TCAA, in conjunction with the Texas Municipal League, files amicus briefs and comments in support of cities on many issues. To keep up to date on the status of these issues, go to https://www.tml.org/p/AmicusBriefUpdate_051118.pdf.

Open Meetings: Doyal v. State, No. PD-0254-18 in the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas.  This case involves the criminal indictment of a Montgomery County judge, along with two county commissioners and a political consultant, for the offense of knowingly conspiring to circumvent the Texas Open Meetings Act by meeting in a number less than a quorum for the purpose of secret deliberations in violation of Government Code Section 551.143. Judge Doyal argues Section 551.143: (1) unconstitutionally burdens his Free Speech; (2) is unconstitutionally broad; and (3) is vague and ambiguous.

The Texas Municipal League, Texas City Attorneys Association, Texas Association of Counties, and Texas Conference of Urban Counties argue that the Court of Criminal Appeals should grant the discretionary petition for review. Amici explain that clarity regarding when (if ever) members of a governing body may communicate with one another outside of posted public meetings is vital to the business of governing. Rather than weighing-in on the substantive issues of the meaning and constitutionality of Government Code Section 551.143, Amici argue that the answers to the questions presented here are important to the proper functioning of city and county government. The brief was filed on April 24, 2018.

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