Judges divided on extension of jury trial moratorium in Bexar County
SAN ANTONIO – The moratorium on jury trials ordered in March over concerns about the spreading of COVID-19 will end on Dec. 31. The decision on whether to extend the moratorium is up to Local Administrative Judge Ron Rangel. “We know that we are in a current surge of COVID cases.”Jury service resumption in Bexar County gets closer lookSeveral judges in the criminal, civil and misdemeanor courts at the Bexar County Courthouse are anxious to begin conducting in person jury trials. “I believe that we should consider resuming jury trials on a case-by-case basis,” County Court 11 Judge Tommy Stolhandske said. Stolhandske also noted that Harris and Kendall counties have already resumed in-person jury trials.
Bexar County judge proposes new specialty court amid domestic violence case spike this year
SAN ANTONIO Citing an 18% spike in domestic violence cases this year, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff wants to include funds for a special Protective Order Court in the countys budget. It provides them with an associate new judge, court manager, program assistance and crime advocates, all the back-up support system they need to have the court work, Wolff said. Senior Civil District Court Judge Peter Sakai praised the creation of the Protective Order Court. This was the countys side of putting in its contribution on the prevention and the fight against domestic violence, Judge Sakai said Wednesday. Hopefully, this will help stem the tide of domestic violence, Wolff said.
Civil district courts in Bexar County prepare to reopen after months-long closure
SAN ANTONIO After closing in mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Bexar County courts complex will reopen next week, according to District Court Judge Peter Sakai. Were probably 60-to-70(percent) capacity of what we were hearing, Sakai said. Were easily back on, and all 14 judges are hearing cases remotely.But like their criminal court counterparts, the civil judges are facing a big problem. Bexar County criminal district courts operating under new orderWe have a backlog in the sense of responding to attorneys who are asking for in-person hearings," Sakai said. He said he is optimistic about reopening since remote hearings will continue to be an option for resolving civil matters.
Civil district courts in Bexar County prepare to reopen after months-long closure
Civil district courts in Bexar County prepare to reopen after months-long closurePublished: June 10, 2020, 6:14 pmThe mid-March closure of the Bexar County Courts complex amid the coronavirus pandemic had a devastating effect on the local justice system, according to District Court Judge Peter Sakai.
Paid Sick Leave: Right Conversation, Wrong Forum
Theyre challenging the paid sick leave (PSL) ordinance passed in 2018 and the updates to the ordinance that City Council approved in October. Theyve argued that a conversation about mandated paid sick leave for all might be worthwhile, but that City Hall isnt the right forum for that conversation and that an ordinance mandating PSL is not legal. Judge Sakai, in his role as a neutral arbiter, isnt allowed to be swayed by emotional or ideological appeals. His critics have the right to say what they want about Judge Sakai, but they are acutely wrong about his impartiality. The time has come for a vigorous conversation about paid sick leave in Texas, and I do hope that the paid sick leave advocates take this fight to our state legislature leaders the right conversation in the right forum.therivardreport.com
Court Finds No Undue Burden in Delaying Paid Sick Leave, Sets Trial Date
State District Court Judge Peter Sakai set a September 2020 court date for a trial over the City of San Antonios paid sick leave ordinance. In November 2018, the 3rd Court of Appeals declared Austins paid sick leave ordinance, which is similar to San Antonios, unconstitutional. The local Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance would have required all employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked starting Dec. 1. In a Nov. 7 hearing, Cedillo argued that paid sick leave is a wage by definition and is thus preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Law. An attorney representing the City said the ordinance was lawful because paid sick leave is a benefit, not a wage.therivardreport.com
Judge stops paid sick leave in San Antonio
The controversial paid sick leave ordinance, initiated by MOVE Texas, made its way to the state district judge last Friday and was placed on hold. The temporary order issued by the state district judge was a response to the lawsuit that was filed by a local group of business owners. The ordinance was to go into effect December 1st but as in Austin and Dallas, who both passed this paid sick leave ordinance, the rollout of all 3 cities ordinance on sick leave was slowed by legal challenges from business owners and conservative activist groups. District Judge Peter Sakai issued a temporary injunction on the ordinance last Friday.saobserver.com
Judge Blocks San Antonios Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai on Friday granted a temporary injunction to local business groups, blocking the City of San Antonio once again from implementing its paid sick leave ordinance. The Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance would have required all employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked starting Dec. 1. I remain steadfast in my support of sick and safe leave, said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. They argued that paid sick leave is a wage by definition and is thus preempted by the states minimum wage law. A 2018 ruling by the 3rd Court of Appeals found that Austins paid sick leave ordinance was unconstitutional and violated State minimum wage law.therivardreport.com
Judge Stops San Antonio's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance From Going Into Effect
An estimated 354,000 San Antonio workers don't have paid sick leave.We respectfully disagree with the Courts decision to enjoin the ordinance," San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia said in a statement supplied to the. "In a statement, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he's waiting to hear an analysis from Segovia but remains "steadfast" in his support of the ordinance. "This corporate-interest lawsuit subverts the will of the people of San Antonio to prioritize profits over people." From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current.sacurrent.com
Court Delays Ruling on Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Injunction
A judge who heard a full day of arguments on both sides of the paid sick leave debate Thursday said he would have a ruling before the end of the month. San Antonios Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance, which would require all employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, is set to go into effect Dec. 1. Cedillo argued at length that paid sick leave is a wage by definition and is thus preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Law. There is no way to effect the ordinance and the State statute.That argument is based on a 2018 ruling by the 3rd Court of Appeals, which said Austins paid sick leave ordinance was unconstitutional and violated State minimum wage law. Birnel and Garcia served on the citizen-led Paid Sick Leave Commission, which recommended changes to the ordinance that were approved by the City Council Oct. 3.therivardreport.com
Bexar County announces partnership promoting gun violence prevention
SAN ANTONIO - Bexar County on Monday is announcing a new partnership that will promote gun violence prevention programs in the community. The partners in the program will discuss the merits of the initiative, community outreach, funding and goals for the community with regard to gun safety, accidental/intentional shootings, and domestic violence, a press release said. Here's a list of those scheduled to be in attendance:Bexar County Judge Nelson WolfBexar County Commissioner Sergio "Chico" Rodriguez, Precinct 1Bexar County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez, Precinct 2Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, Precinct 4Bexar County Sheriff Javier SalazarBexar County Criminal District Attorney Joe GonzalesJudge Peter Sakai, 225th District Court JudgeGeorge Hernandez, University Health SystemVIA Metropolitan Transit AuthorityRepresentatives from San Antonio Moms Demand ActionRepresentatives from BeSmart for KidsCopyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.
Enormous justice system gap closed, allowing courts to communicate better
When a county domestic violence case is closed, information about the perpetrator is entered into a county computer system called MOCHA. There have never been flash codes to indicate someone was banned from owning or buying firearms because of domestic violence charges. It's heartbreaking to know that our systems have not had these kinds of flash codes implemented a long time ago, Adame-Clark said. The domestic violence and gun-related flash codes were added Aug. 12 because of the joint effort. Are they going to have special conditions for contact between the parent and children due to domestic violence?
Bexar County's first court-ordered commission on domestic violence lays out bold strategy
SAN ANTONIO - Agencies and organizations across Bexar County are attempting to do their part to lower the region's record domestic violence statistics. Together, they've created a new, court-ordered domestic violence commission aimed at collectively stopping rampant abuse. So the question remains: Why isn't all of this working to bring down the domestic violence numbers? For the first time, a commission has formed involving local government leaders, the judiciary, law enforcement, prosecution, nonprofits and health care agencies. Bridger's focus on the commission is on prevention and she agrees that has to start with children in school.