From the “Idiots file dumb lawsuit” department

I hesitate to give this any attention, but I feel it needs to be noted.

Judge Lina Hidalgo

Five people filed a lawsuit with Harris County District Court on Friday to remove Judge Lina Hidalgo from office, days before she is scheduled to return after two months of leave for inpatient mental health treatment.

The petition claims Hidalgo is not able to do her work as Harris County Judge because of health concerns. The lawsuit was filed by David B. Wilson, Thomas Andrew Thrash, Melinda M. Morris, Thomas A. Bazan and Tommy B. Slocum, Jr., which was first posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, by the Texan reporter Holly Hansen. Under state law, a petition to remove a county official can be filed by anyone who “lives and has lived for at least six months” in that county.

“The petition is meritless and an absolute joke,” said Brandon Marshall, Harris County Judge’s Office spokesperson. “It repeatedly misspelled several words. Judge Hidalgo is looking forward to returning to the office on Monday.”


The petitioners claim Hidalgo is “unfit or unable to promptly and properly discharge her official duties because of serious physical or mental defect that did not exist at the time of the election.” Petitioners also claim Hidalgo’s absence from three consecutive meetings while on leave means that she has “abandoned the office.”

“Judge Hildalgo (sic) has abandoned the office of the Harris County Judge,” the petition states, claiming that she is “required to vote on agenda items.”


Operations have continued to run in Hidalgo’s absence, said Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who has filled in while she is on leave.

“The election deniers are at their losing ways again, doing everything in their power to undermine the will of the voters,” Ellis said Friday in a statement. “These are not serious people and should be treated accordingly.”

Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia called the petition “another dumb political stunt by election-denying Harris County MAGA extremists.”

“Legally this has a less-than-zero chance of success, starting with the fact that the petitioners cite a Texas Government Code Section that does not exist,” Garcia said in a statement Friday.

Yes, that’s once-again HCC Trustee Dave Wilson, whose decades-long track record of being a total shitheel remains untouched. I have better things to do on a Saturday than to look up the law in question and do a few minutes’ research to see how precedented an elected official missing an equivalent amount of time has happened in the past, and you have better things to do on a Sunday than to read about them. Suffice it to say that this is a toddler’s cry for attention from immature and dyspeptic people who have no useful function in society, and let’s get on with our lives.

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9 Responses to From the “Idiots file dumb lawsuit” department

  1. Who is the Attorney?

  2. Good question. Found a copy of the petition in the linked The Texan News story:

    It’s by Keith Gross, of The Law Office of Keith A. Gross, complete with an email address. Now that you have made me look this up, I can say that the entire petition appears to be “she was out sick and missed some meetings so the law says she has to be removed from office”. Two laws are cited but not quoted, with no indication of why those laws apply in this matter. That’s some real good lawyering right there.

  3. Ross says:

    If I can find the actual case filing on the District Clerk’s site(nothing is coming up today), I might be very tempted to file a complaint with the Texas Bar. The misspellings and the failure to cite the actual statutes are unacceptable for a professional attorney. The statutes cites are actually in the Local Government Code. Section 87.011 of the Local Government Code is the definitions section. The actual section is 87.013. And I am not a lawyer, and was able to discern those errors.

    I found his Facebook page, which has a picture of him, his wife, and their daughter holding a Trump/Pence sign in 2020. Just as expected.

  4. Flypusher says:

    There is no bottom. Other elected officials have had to deal with things like a cancer diagnosis or having to recover from a serious injury, and they weren’t plagued with nuisance lawsuits. Treatment for depression shouldn’t be any different.

  5. Flypusher says:

    Sounds like he would fit in with all the other F-tier TrumpWorld lawyers:

    There’s some serious grading on the curve here-just having the sense to not talk to the press will get you A-tier.

  6. mollusk says:

    The statute seems to have some safeguards built in – it requires a judge to review the petition and sign an order for a citation to even get issued. That may why neither Ross nor I could pull up the petition on the District Clerk’s site; OTOH, it may pop up in a day or two once the petition is formally accepted for filing – a citation doesn’t have to be issued for that to happen. A weird thing is that it shows a court assignment but no case number, but maybe Gross just threw a dart at the judicial roster to come up with a court assignment on his own, which is unlikely to be binding.

    “Official misconduct” is defined as “an intentional or corrupt failure, refusal, or neglect of an officer to perform a duty imposed on the officer by law.” I don’t know of anyone who intentionally becomes ill, and can’t even imagine how one could corruptly seek bona fide medical care. There are likely some ADA protections involved as well. Beyond that, the statute also requires the petition to be verified (sworn), and the linked version is not.

    My read is that this will end up being DOA, and lawyer Gross may indeed become a subject of the grievance committee’s interest.

  7. M Loret says:

    The petition also cites another section of code that states a member’s seat is considered “vacant” if the member is “absent for three regular consecutive meetings,” “unless the member is sick or has first obtained a leave of absence at a regular meeting.”

    Hidalgo did take an official leave of absence and the petitioners cited the Texas “Government Code,” rather than the applicable “Local Government Code.”

    Such a waste of time and taxpayer dollars, imho.

  8. Jeff N. says:

    How precedented is an elected official missing an equivalent amount of time has happened in the past? Hmm. President Garfield was shot in 1881 and survived for 79 days before dying. President Wilson suffered a stroke in 2019 and was hidden from public view for months. Senator Fetterman took two months of leave for depression earlier this year. It’s so much better for elected officials to tell the truth about their medical and mental illnesses, get help, and return to the job they were elected to perform.

    She’s entitled to twelve weeks of leave under the Family & Medical Leave Act. The people calling for Judge Hidalgo’s resignation or removal, including Mealer, are clowns.

  9. Pingback: Judge Hidalgo returns | Off the Kuff

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