The county paid Sean Carlos Ibarra and Erik Adam Ibarra the agreed settlement on April 1, but the brothers want to return the $1.7 million and resume their battle in court because Harris County is appealing some portions of the case.
The Ibarras are seeking an emergency hearing and reinstatement on the trial docket, but U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt has not yet acted on that request.
"We're dead serious about this," said the Ibarras' attorney, Lloyd Kelley. "I don't imagine that the court is just going to blow it off."
County Attorney Mike Stafford denied that the county has violated the settlement agreement.
"Everything is in the hands of an experienced, fair-minded judge, and he'll make the right decisions," Stafford said Thursday.
Kelley said the county breached that settlement agreement with his clients by recently challenging Hoyt's 2005 decision to sanction and fine two assistant county attorneys for improperly obtaining the Ibarras' medical records from the Harris County Hospital District.
But assistant county attorneys Frank Sanders and Mary Baker have every right to appeal Hoyt's decision to disbar them from the case and fine them $10,000, their legal counsel retorted.
The county ultimately deposited that money into the court's registry pending the outcome of the civil lawsuit.
Furthermore, Sanders' and Baker's appeal does not affect anyone's ability to comply with the settlement, said their attorney, Lynne Liberato.
"Sanders and Baker still may appeal for the sake of their professional reputations," Liberato wrote in court papers.
Kelley also alleged the county violated the settlement by challenging some of the legal fees, court costs and expenses related to the Ibarras' suit after it had agreed to pay all of them as a condition of the settlement.
But the county has since alleged Kelley charged an excessive hourly rate and submitted large amounts of "unexplained expenses."
But whatever. Back to you, Judge Hoyt.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 18, 2008 to Local politics