TagState courts

Lawsuit filed in recall effort in Leon Valley, Texas

Five Leon Valley residents have filed a lawsuit to place a recall election on the May 2 ballot. Councilmembers Donna Charles and Monica Alcocer were targeted for recall after a 2-1 vote in August 2019 to remove Councilmember Benny Martinez. Charles and Alcocer voted in favor of removing Martinez due to allegations of sexual harassment as well as undermining Leon Valley’s legal department, community development department, police department, and the city manager. Martinez responded to the allegations by saying, “There is no validity to any of them. I deny all charges against me. This is a witch hunt to get me off the City Council.”

Petitioners were required to submit 500 valid signatures for each official to put the recalls on the ballot. More than 1,600 signatures were submitted for verification against Charles and Alcocer in November 2019. Scheduling for the recall election was on the city council’s agenda on January 21, but the matter wasn’t taken up during that meeting. A lawsuit to put the recall on the ballot was filed with the Fourth Court of Appeals on January 24.

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Bowman replaces Schindler on the Washington Court of Appeals

Gov. Jay Inslee (D) appointed Bill Bowman to the Washington Court of Appeals on January 24, 2020. Bowman fills the vacancy left by former judge Ann Schindler, who retired effective December 31, 2019.

Bowman previously served as a judge for the King County Superior Court. He held several roles as a superior court judge, including those of assistant chief criminal judge, chief judge of the Maleng Regional Justice Center, and assistant presiding judge, the last of which he held at the time of his appellate appointment.

In addition to his judicial career, Bowman has worked as a trial attorney and was also deputy prosecuting attorney for King County. He earned his J.D. from the California Western School of Law.

Bowman is one of ten Division I judges on the Washington Court of Appeals. Unlike the Washington Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals is a non-discretionary appellate court, meaning it must review and rule on all appeals filed with it.

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Governor Newsom appoints Jackson to California Court of Appeal

On January 21, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D) appointee to the California First District Court of Appeal—Justice Terri L. Jackson—was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. Justice Jackson is now the first female, African-American justice to sit on the California First District Court of Appeal.

Before her appointment, Jackson served as a judge on the Superior Court of San Francisco from 2002 to 2020. She was also the first African-American woman appointed to the Superior Court of San Francisco. Before serving as a judge, Jackson worked as an attorney and served in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.

California’s First District Court of Appeal is one of six courts of appeal in California. The First District Court serves the residents of 12 Northern California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma. The district reviews more than 2,000 criminal, civil, and juvenile appeals and more than 1,300 original proceedings annually.

Justice Jackson replaced Justice Martin Jenkins, who resigned from the bench to serve as Governor Newsom’s judicial appointments secretary. Jenkins served on the California First District Court of Appeal from 2008-2019.

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