Judiciary

Suspended judge is sentenced for contempt and ordered to undergo competency exam


A suspended judge in Texas has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for contempt based on accusations he tried to file criminal charges against the state’s attorney who is prosecuting the judge for alleged misuse of his powers.

Suspended Judge Christopher Dupuy of Galveston County was sentenced on Aug. 29 and ordered to undergo a competency exam, Texas Lawyer (sub. req.) reports. The judge who sentenced Dupuy cited evidence that Dupuy tried to file charges accusing the state’s attorney of tampering with witnesses and aggravated perjury, the story reports. Dupuy also told the media about his charges against the prosecutor and continued posting comments about the case on Facebook despite a gag order, the contempt order says.

Dupuy has filed a habeas petition claiming that the contempt motion lacked specifics and the jail term punishes him for protected speech, Law360 reports.

In the underlying case, Dupuy is accused of using his office to retaliate against family law attorneys, including one representing his ex-wife in a child custody case against Dupuy.

Five of 11 charges against Dupuy were dismissed on Aug. 13 after the judge ruled Dupuy had immunity for issuing orders of contempt against lawyers appearing before him. Still outstanding are charges accusing Dupuy of official oppression for mistreating lawyers, misusing county resources by engaging in private law practice while on the bench, and committing perjury.

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