Senior District Judge John Delaney from Brazos County denied Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack’s application for a temporary restraining order on his petition for mandamus to remove his democratic opponent, Lore Breitmeyer Jones, from the ballot. Noack’s campaign said initial reports indicated Jones had filed by petition, then members of the Democratic Party claimed she filed by check, and that all of it happened out of public view, and possibly after the six pm deadline on Dec. 9.
The temporary restraining order request was heard Dec. 20 in the Montgomery County Overflow Courtroom.
Now a hearing for a temporary injunction and further proceedings will be held on Jan. 14.
Before Judge Delaney ruled on the temporary restraining order, he denied the Democratic Party’s request for a transfer of venue.
“We had argued that this case should be heard in the Court of Appeals. He (Judge Delaney) denied that, so he heard the temporary restraining order this morning, “ said Montgomery County Democratic Party Chair Marc Meyer.
Meyer, who is a lawyer, spoke on his behalf in court on Dec. 20, as well as Attorney Claire Lindsay.
Meyer said one of the arguments they made is that Commissioner Noack has an adequate legal remedy through a full evidentiary hearing, or other actions in the future.
“Retraining us from certifying her (Jones) on the ballot at this time was improper primarily because she is in the Democratic Primary and he is in the Republican Primary, so they will not actually meet until the November election, said Meyer. “To restrain her from being on the Democratic Primary ballot is actually not a harm to Commissioner Noack, and there’s some Supreme Court Case law which will be cited in other filings later, that basically says that the election code should be construed to have more open access to the ballot and these things should be decided in elections and not by technicalities.”
Meyer said they also argued the other side is trying to misconstrue documents that were one, a press release, and the other was an email Meyer had sent to a reporter.
“They’re trying to misconstrue them to say Ms. Breitmeyer Jones filed after six pm. Ms. Brietmeyer Jones filed before six pm. What those emails and other documents show is that I was reviewing her application for a place on the ballot after six pm, but that is authorized under section 172.0222 D of the Election Code.”
Meyer said the Code states that he had until the Friday after the filing, in which to review and accept the applications.
Alllen Blakemore is a Spokesperson for the James Noack Campaign.
“We are very pleased with today’s hearing in front of Judge Delaney. The hearing opened with the Judge overruling Meyers’ claim that the court lacked jurisdiction,” said Blakemore. It didn’t get any better for the Democrats after that. Wary that his comments were in open court and on the record, Chairman Meyer never once controverted our claim that Jones filing was not properly made before six pm. “Judge Delaney’s finding today hinged on the nature of the imminent harm being suffered by Noack. “In denying the temporary restraining order, he indicated there was sufficient time to conduct a fact hearing and provide Noack the relief he seeks in the form of a temporary and permanent injunction.”
Blakemore added that the Judge set a date for that hearing, which is Jan. 14.
“We’re pleased with the outcome today and look forward to laying out the facts and presenting witnesses, when we return to court on Jan. 14.”