Ignition Interlock Device Bond Condition: When it is Required and When it is Optional

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During the 2019 legislative session, a change was made to when a magistrate is required to order an ignition interlock device (IID) as a bond condition. For the offense of DWI with a Child Passenger (the elements of this offense can be found in Section 49.045 of the Penal Code), the IID condition used to only be required if it was a subsequent offense. Now, this condition is required for this offense whether it is a first or subsequent offense. This new law applies to a defendant released on bond on or after 9/1/19 even if the offense was committed before then.

Below is a chart summarizing the current law for when a magistrate must impose an IID bond condition and when it is up to the discretion of the magistrate to decide whether or not to impose it. In the chart, CCP stands for Code of Criminal Procedure, PC stands for Penal Code, and DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated.

IID Bond Condition Chart

SPOTLIGHT

We are rolling out a new “Spotlight” series on our blog. Each month, we will post an interview of someone from a justice court or constable office. Here is our first one!

Judge Clyde “Bubba” Howse

Justice of the Peace, Medina County Precinct 3

Judge Howse

  1. Tell us a bit about your background.

I was born and raised in the Air Force. I was born at Ft. Clayton, Panama Canal Zone. I have lived in Panama, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas. I graduated from Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio, Texas. After almost two years at the University of Corpus Christi, I worked in the oil field. When the oil field shut down, I moved to Sherman, Texas where I was the Golf Course Superintendent at the Grayson County Golf Course for 9 years. I took some Turf Science and Pest Control classes at the Golf Course and I was asked to apply to be an Investigator for the Texas Pest Control Board and EPA. I received that job and covered 27 counties in the East Texas area. There were some big changes in the Texas Pest Control Board and EPA, so I went to work for the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office in the Jail. While on vacation in Hondo, Texas I visited with the Sheriff of Medina County and then moved to Medina County and worked with the Medina County Sheriff’s Office as a Jailer and Animal Control Officer for 7 years.

  1. What made you decide to become a Judge?

I have been very interested in Law Enforcement and the Law for many years. I was getting a warrant for an animal seizure from Judge George Ernst, Justice of the Peace Pct. 3, and he told me that he would be retiring after 28 years in office and told me I should run for his office. After much prayer, I ran and won. I took office January 2011 and I am on my third term.

  1. What is something innovative, interesting, or fun your office does?

The four Justice of the Peace offices (Clerks and Judges) in Medina County have a quarterly meeting to discuss office issues, law changes, and how to handle these changes. We invite other offices that might be involved with these same issues or changes. We have had conversations about Mental Health and Magistration, Inquests, Courtesy Letters, and Video Magistration, to name a few. We have had Rebecca Glisan from TJCTC come and talk about the Bond Conditions on DWI Magistration. We have invited Pretrial Services, the Department of Public Safety, the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, jail staff, deputies, Net Data (JP software), MVBA ( collection agency), the Chief of Police from the towns in Medina County, MHDD (Mental Health staff), the County Judge, the Auditor, and other elected officials to come to these meetings and be a part of our conversation. These are informal meetings where everyone can voice their opinions. They are very good trainings and informative meetings.

  1. What is the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is the people I work with. I have the best clerks in the state. I am blessed to have a good working relationship with the other JPs and their clerks. We have good county officials to work with. I enjoy serving the people of Medina County.

Legal Board Question of the Month

We are going to start posting a noteworthy legal board question and answer each month. Below is our first one!

QUESTION:

I have a plaintiff asking for a Writ of Execution after 10 years. The plaintiff is claiming that the 10 year period is extended by three years due to a bankruptcy filing after the judgment was entered. Does a bankruptcy filing toll the 10 year judgment period? Judgment was entered 3/19/08, bankruptcy was filed 8/11/09 and dismissed on 8/1/12. The debt is still due and owing as it was not discharged in the bankruptcy.

ANSWER:

The Texas Court of Appeals addressed this issue in the recent case of Cade v. Stone, 2013 WL 3009853 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi, June 13, 2013, no pet.) and expressly held that the pendency of a bankruptcy proceeding tolls the 10 year life span of a Texas judgment. The court held: “[W]here ‘a person is prevented from exercising his legal remedy by the pendency of legal proceedings, the time during which he is thus prevented should not be counted against him in determining whether limitations have barred his right.’” After considering 11 U.S.C. § 108, the court noted that, “[a]pplicable nonbankruptcy law [i.e., Texas common law] … provides that [the applicable statute of limitations] w[as] suspended during the time that Cade was prohibited from executing on the judgment due to the automatic bankruptcy stay.” The court concluded: “Accordingly, the time during which the automatic bankruptcy stay was in effect is not “counted against [Cade] in determining” when the applicable statute of limitations (i.e., section 34.001 of the civil practice and remedies code) operated to bar execution on the 1993 domesticated judgment, and, in turn, when the time period for reviving that judgment expired.”

See also HSBC Bank USA, N.A. as Trustee for Merrill Lynch v. Crum, 907 F.3d 199 (5th Cir. 2018); Baker Atlas v. Cheruvathur, 8 Wash. App.2d 1070 (Wash. App. May 20, 2019).

Under this case authority, the plaintiff is correct and the period of the bankruptcy should be added to the ten-year period in which the judgment remains valid. That is precisely the holding of Cade v. Stone.

However, in this case, the plaintiff is still within the two year period in which he could file a writ of scire facias or an action of debt to revive the judgment even if it had become dormant.  So even if the bankruptcy case had not tolled the ten-year period for enforcing the judgment, he would still be able to do so through those means.

Standard Field Sobriety Tests and Drug Impairment

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At the Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety in Louisville, KY earlier this year, there was a session on Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) and drug impairment. The session was about how research shows that SFSTs are effective at detecting impairment due to drugs and not just due to alcohol.

Here is some of the research that was provided in the session:

An Examination of the Validity of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test in Detecting Drug Impairment 

Detecting Impairment Associated with Cannabis with and without Alcohol on the Standard Field Sobriety Tests 

Examining the Dffect of dl-3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and Methamphetamine on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

The Relationship between Performance on the SFSTs, Driving Performance and the Level of Delta 9-THC in Blood

The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and Measures of Cognitive Functioning

A 2 Year Study of THC Concentrations in Drivers: Examining Driving and Field Sobriety Test Performance

A Placebo-Controlled Study to Assess Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Performance During Alcohol and Cannabis Intoxication

An Evaluation of the Sensitivity of the Standardised Field Sobriety Tests to Detect the Presence of Amphetamine

Article About Repeat DWI Offenders

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This article speaks to how important a justice of the peace’s role as a magistrate is. If you want to do more in your county, please reach out to Randy Sarosdy or Rebecca Glisan at our office to ask about our DWI Bond Condition Program.

To read the article, click here:

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/crime/what-will-it-take-to-keep-repeat-dwi-offenders-off-the-roads-in-north-texas/287-0cf8ab65-6909-4a94-b79a-a5c691c72cce?fbclid=IwAR0lqvUiPfFGoKcze3DJsgN54Pwdr6Ej1K_YcLjFTi84w4AOrVi-qXnXxDw

Impaired Driving and July 4 Holiday

SAVE-A-LIFE-LOGO4There is a large increase in impaired driving related deaths during the week of July 4.

So be careful on the roads, stay safe, and be prepared for the possible impact on magistration and inquest duties.

For more information on the statistics, please take a look at this article: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/01/health/july-is-the-deadliest-month-for-drunk-driving-trnd/

DPS Reporting Update – Ignition Interlock Orders and Other Information

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We have been advised that Ignition Interlock orders may be reported to DPS at this email address: convictionreporting@dps.texas.gov

Information concerning Conviction Reporting, Enforcement Actions, Administrative Hearings and the Driver Responsibility Program are available at this link: https://www.dps.texas.gov/administration/crime_records/docs/cjis/2018CjisJjisConf/dlConvRptngDrvrResponsibility.pdf