In a lawsuit filed by George Darrell Best on August 27th, 2014 in District Court, Best is asking a court to remove me from the office I was duly elected to hold by the registered voters of the District! I have hired a law firm to represent me in this matter and I intend to FIGHT to keep doing the people's business because we still have an agenda to accomplish, the reason the people put me here to start with! To all the people that voted for me to be in this office you can rest assured I will not back down from threats or intimidation tactics, I will press on to work for YOU the taxpayers until my elected term expires by law, not by a frivolous lawsuit!
Documents pertaining to lawsuit, will be updated as items are filed in court:
Prior to the court case (documents that were discovered during court depositions):
8/25/2014 - Email from Ron Hankins to George Darrell Best with the original Petition for Removal that was filed on 8/27/2014
249th District Court - Somervell County
8/27/2014 - George Darrell Best Petition for Removal of Officer.
8/27/2014 - Email from Attorney Lewellen's office with 'Petition for Removal (Revised) but Petition for Removal was filed already in the Clerks office (see document above stamp from the Clerks office)
8/29/2014 - Judge Wayne Bridewell recuses himself from hearing this case, because of a possible conflict of interest.
8/29/2014 - District Court Citation for Personal Service , delivered 9/4/2014.
9/26/2014 - Paul Harper Original Answer
9/29/2014 - Notice/Appearance by State of Texas & request hearing to suspend officer from office.
The State hereby adopts and herein incorporates by reference for all purposes the assertions and allegations contained within Plaintiff's Petition for Removal of Officer filed of record in this case on August 27, 2014
10/1/2014 - State of Texas first supplemental petition for removal of officer.
10/2/2014 - Order setting hearing on state's motion, set for 10/20/2014 9am.
10/16/2014 - Request/Subpoena from County Attorney - subpoena issued for Ray Reynolds, given to constable.
10/20/2014 - Subpoena/Ray Reynolds served 10/20/2014.
10/20/2014 - Hearing is held, court orders Mr. Harper to fill out the Medicaid PIF-2 form within 10 days. Mr. Harper is suspended from hospital board until ruling is received from Medicaid. Board can operate with 6 people. Judge Kit Cooke.
10/27/2014 - Defendant's Anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss
11/5/2014 - Letter from Office of Inspector General - Texas Health & Human Services Commission showing Mr. Harper PIF-2 application was APPROVED
1/8/2015 - Hearing to revoke temporary suspension since Medicaid approved Harper and hearing on Anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss
1/8/2015 - Judge signs Order Reinstating Paul Harper as Director of the Somervell County Hospital District and rules against Anti-SLAPP motion.
1/15/2015 - Judge DENIES Andrew Lucas Application for Emergency Restraining Order and Hearing for Temporary Orders, included is Ron Hankins affidavit
1/15/2015 - Transcript of the hearing for the Temporary Restraining Order where Judge DENIED request (link added 7/16/2015)
3/11/2015 - Judge signs Order denying Defendant's Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss
10th Court of Appeals Case #10-15-00105-CV
3/19/2015 - Notice of Accelerated Appeal filed with Clerk of the Court. This appeal is taken to the Tenth Court of Appeals District of Texas in Waco.
3/24/2015 - Requests for Court Reporters Record from Robin Howe, Court Reporters Record from Notarius Reporting, Inc., and Request for Preparation of Clerk's Record
3/26/2015 - Letter to Court of Appeals received from District Clerk
3/27/2015 - Letter from Tenth Court of Appeals that Notice of Appeal has been filed, Court of Appeals Number: 10-15-00105-CV, 3/30/2015 - Docketing Statement submitted to Appeals Court
3/31/2015 - Extension of time to file reporters record filed
4/2/2015 - Clerks record filed
4/8/2015 - Extention of time to file reports record disposed
4/9/2015 - Supplemental clerks record filed
4/15/2015 - Extension of time to file reporters record filed
4/21/2015 - Reports record filed
4/22/2015 - Extension of time to file reporters record disposed
5/11/2015 - Brief filed - oral argument requested by Appellant
6/1/2015 - Brief filed - oral argument not requested by Appellee
6/1/2015 - Case ready to be set
6/22/2015 - Notice filed of additional attorney added to case by Appellant
6/22/2015 - Reply brief filed by Appellant
10/8/2015 - Set for submission on oral argument on 11/4/2015
11/2/2015 - Supplemental clerks record filed
11/4/2015 - Oral arguments heard, Submitted
4/21/2016 - Opinion Issued - Reversed and Remanded
4/21/2016 - Judgment Issued against State of Texas for Harper's fees
05/04/2016 - Motion for rehearing filed by Appellee
05/17/2016 - Notice filed by Appellee
05/19/2016 - Order entered by court requesting response from Appellant
05/20/2016 - Objection to notice filed by Appellee filed by Appellant
05/23/2016 - Paul Harper makes offer to settle case
06/01/2016 - County Attorney Andrew Lucas declines Harper offer to settle
06/09/2016 - Response filed by Appellant
06/14/2016 - Response filed by Appellee
07/13/2016 - Order entered by court - Motion for rehearing by State denied
Texas Supreme Court case # 16-0647
08/26/2016 - Motion for Extension of Time to file Petition for Review filed on behalf of State of Texas on the Relation George Darrell Best.
08/26/2016 - Amended Motion for Extension of Time to file Petition for Review filed on behalf of State of Texas on the Relation George Darrell Best.
08/26/2016 - Court sent email to respondent's counsel to inquire whether a response to petitioner's motion will be filed or not. No response will be filed.
08/29/2016 - Motion for Extension of Time to file Petition for Review is granted, as amended. Petition for Review is due September 28, 2016.
09/27/2016 - Petition for Review filed on behalf of the State of Texas
09/28/2016 - Response Waiver filed on behalf of Paul Harper
10/04/2016 - Case forwarded to Court
11/04/2016 - Requested response to petition for review due no later than December 5, 2016
12/05/2016 - Response to Petition for Review filed on behalf of Paul Harper
12/05/2016 - Motion to Dismiss filed on behalf of Paul Harper
12/12/2016 - Response to Motion to Dismiss filed on behalf of the State of Texas
01/20/2017 - Brief on the merits requested: Petitioner's brief due no later than February 21, 2017; Response brief due March 13, 2017; Reply brief due March 28, 2017.
01/23/2017 - Record requested from the 10th Court of Appeals
01/25/2017 - Electronic Appellate Record received
02/02/2017 - Motion to Dismiss denied
02/21/2017 - Petitioner's Brief on the Merits filed on behalf of State of Texas
03/13/2017 - Respondent's Brief on the Merits filed on behalf of Paul Harper
03/14/2017 - Letter filed on behalf of the State of Texas stating that petitioner does not intend to file a Reply Brief on the Merits.
06/23/2017 - Petition for Review granted: The date and time for oral arguments are yet to be determined
06/30/2017 - Case set for oral argument: This cause has been set for oral argument at 9:00am, November 8, 2017. Time alloted to argue: 20/20 minutes
09/09/2017 - Oral Argument will be presented by C. Alfred Mackenzie of Waco, Texas, filed on behalf of State of Texas.
09/15/2017 - Oral Argument will be presented by Mary H. Barkley of Cantey Hangger LLP on behalf of Paul Harper
11/08/2017 - Oral Argments, MP3 and PDF
11/15/2017 - Post-Submission Brief filed on behalf of State of Texas
11/16/2017 - Amended Post-Submission Brief filed on behalf of State of Texas
11/17/2017 - Respondent's Post-Submission Brief filed on behalf of Paul Harper
11/20/2017 - Reply to Respondent's Post-Submission Brief filed on behalf of the State of Texas
11/29/2017 - Amicus Curiae Letter received on behalf of State of Texas. Submitted by Cleve W. Doty, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Texas Attorney General
12/28/2017 - Amicus Curiae Brief filed on behalf of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas in support of respondent, Paul Harper. Submitted by Joseph R. Larsen of Sedgwick LLP of Houston, Texas.
06/29/2018 - Opinion Issued - The Court affirms the court of appeals' judgment, with a modification. Justice Brown delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Guzman, and Justice Devine joined.
06/29/2018 - Dissenting opinion issued: Justice Boyd delivered a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Johnson and Justice Lejrmann joined.
07/10/2018 - Motion for Rehearing filed on behalf of the State of Texas
07/10/2018 - Case forwarded to Court
07/11/2018 - Supreme Court of Texas Requested Response to motion for rehearing due no later than July 26, 2018.
07/16/2018 - Amicus Curiae Brief received on behalf of Thomas B. Cowart
07/26/2018 - Response to Motion for Rehearing filed on behalf of Paul Harper
08/23/2018 - Amicus Curiae Brief received on behalf of State of Texas. Submitted by Jason R. LaFond, Assistant Solicitor General, Office of the Texas Attorney General
09/11/2018 - Response to Amicus Curiae Brief of the State of Texas filed on behalf of Paul Harper
09/11/2018 - Notice of Appearance of Solicitor General, Kyle Hawkins, replacing Scott Keller.
10/09/2018 - Supplement to Amicus Curiae Brief received on behalf of Thomas B. Cowart.
11/05/2018 - Reply in support of Motion for Rehearing filed on behalf of State of Texas
12/03/2018 - Amicus Brief received on behalf of Empower Texas, et al.
12/21/2018 - Motion for Reheading Denied
12/21/2018 - The Court's opinion issued June 29, 2018 is corrected. The dissenting opinion by Justice Boyd, in which Justice Johnson and Justice Lehrmann joined, remains in place. Justice Blacklock did not participate in the decision.
12/21/2018 - Mandate issued: Mandate & Cost Bill Issued
After returning to District Court from the Texas Supreme Court (12/21/2018)
04/24/2019 - Andrew Lucas (Somervell County Attorney) and George Darrell Best provided documents and depositions in this case
05/17/2019 - Earl Ray Reynolds and Ronald Hankins provided documents and depositions in this case
08/20/2019 - Hearing is held.
08/23/2019 - Judge announces judgment
the Court finds that both the State and Best brought the
legal action against Harper
09/10/2019 - Judge signs judgment awarding Paul Harper Attorneys' fees, court costs, sanctions, and interest against George Darrell Best and State of Texas jointly and severally.
Post Final Judgment
11/07/2019 - Texas Attorney General's office sends a letter to County Attorney Andrew Lucas detailing since he chose to pursue this case that Somervell County is responsible for paying the judgment against the State of Texas
11/18/2019 - Somervell County Commissioners Court meetings in executive session to discuss OAG letter, takes no action after the executive session.
12/2/2019 - Harper discussed with County Commissioner Wade Busch
12/2/2019 - Harper emails all 4 County Commissioners (Larry Hulsey, Dwayne Johnson, Kenneth Wood, & Wade Busch) requesting public meeting to discuss and take action
12/6/2019 - Harper discussed with County Commissioner Dwayne Johnson
12/9/2019 - Harper discussed with County Judge Danny Chambers
12/10/2019 - Harper serves George Darrell Best with post judgment discovery
12/16/2019 - Harper sent Notice of Lawsuit Against Somervell County