Somervell County Attorney Andrew Lucas has filed a motion with the Texas Supreme Court.
Texas Supreme Court Case #16-0647
08/26/2016 Original motion - 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 - Amended Motion for Extension of Time to file Petition for Review filed on behalf of State of Texas on the Relation George Darrell Best.
08/29/2016 Motion Granted - Motion for Extension of Time to file Petition for Review is granted, as amended. Petition for Review is due September 28, 2016.
For the entire case history, follow this link
Amended motion text:
~Motion for Extension
TO THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS:
The Petitioner, State of Texas on the Relation of George Darrell Best,
respectfully asks this Court to extend the time for filing a petition for review
in this case.
This case was commenced when George Best, a private citizen, filed
in the district court a petition to remove Paul Reed Harper from his elected
position as a member of the Somervell County Hospital Board under
Chapter 87 of the Texas Local Government Code. Significantly, section
87.018 of the removal statute expressly provides that “[t]he county attorney
shall represent the state in a proceeding for the removal of an officer except
[in a proceeding to remove the county or district attorney].” See TEX. LOC.
GOV’T CODE § 87.018(d) (emphasis added).
In response to the removal petition, Harper filed an Anti-SLAPP
motion to dismiss under Chapter 27 of the Texas Civil Practice and
Remedies Code. The district court denied the motion to dismiss, and Harper
appealed to the Tenth Court of Appeals in Waco.
On April 21, 2016, the Waco Court of Appeals issued its opinion and
judgment, remanding the proceeding to the trial court for rendition of an
order granting Harper’s motion to dismiss and for a determination of
Harper’s request for court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, and sanctions.
The court of appeals’ judgment taxed appellate costs “against the State of
Motion for Extension of Time
Page 3 of 5
The State timely filed a motion for rehearing on May 4, 2016, which
the court of appeals denied on July 13, 2016. In its order denying rehearing,
the court of appeals corrected the style of the case in that court to: Paul Reed
Harper, Appellant v. The State of Texas Ex Rel George Darrell Best,
A Petition for Review would be due 45 days after the ruling on the
Motion for Rehearing. In this case because the 45th day is a Saturday, the
deadline is Monday, August 29, 2016.
No prior extension of time has been sought or granted to the
The State seeks an extension of thirty days—until September 28,
Good cause exists for this extension of time. On May 7, 2016, Harper
lost his bid for re-election to the Somervell County Hospital Board, and his
successor took office on May 13, 2016. Thus, the removal action initiated by
Best is now moot. The only issues remaining before the court are the
propriety of Harper’s filing of—and the trial court’s consideration of—an
anti-SLAPP Motion in response to the removal petition; together with the
jurisdictional question of whether appellate cost, trial court costs, attorney’s
fees and/or sanctions may be awarded against the State.
Although the county attorney was obligated to represent the interest of
the State in the removal action, there is no similar provision in the Texas
Motion for Extension of Time
Page 4 of 5
Citizens Participation Act requiring the county attorney to represent the
interest of the State in defending Harper’s claim for attorney’s fees and
sanctions. And certainly, there is no statutory provision for Somervell
County to indemnify the State for any potential liability to Harper that might
survive a sovereign immunity challenge by the State. Thus, the County
Attorney of Somervell County has requested the Texas Attorney General
and the Office of Solicitor General to review this matter.
The additional time is requested to allow adequate time for the Texas
Attorney General and the Office of Solicitor General to review this matter
and determine whether a petition for review should be filed to protect the
interests of the State in this matter before it is remanded to the trial court.
Accordingly, the State respectfully requests that the Court extend the
time for filing a petition for review until September 28, 2016.
/s/ Andrew Lucas
Somervell County Attorney
State Bar No. 24010199
P.O. Box 1335
Glen Rose, Texas 76043
Tel: (254) 897-2277
Fax: (254) 897-2600
Attorney for the State of Texas