State v. R.P.
Violation of a Protective Order / Texas v. R.P.
Harris County No. 14
The is a case about a Dad just wanting to see his kids and the ex-wife trying to use our criminal courts to further her family law case. Client and his ex-wife got divorced in 2018 and they had 2 small girls. They got divorced without attorneys. After they were divorced she file a Restraining Order against him. Client didn’t show up and she was granted a Protective Order based only on her story and no investigation by a family court judge. Client got notice of the Protective Order and ex-wife’s protected home address and place of work. Never had any violations. She had never even called the police on him ever. She took advantage of the fact that he didn’t have a lawyer. Well time passes and she moves herself and the girls in with a boyfriend and his son. While mom is stuck at work, she allows the boy friend to pick up the girls from day care and spend time with them. Dad asks if he can just be the one to spend time with them since he is free from work. Ex hangs up on him. So he drives to the boyfriends house to talk to the boyfriend and plead with him to let him be a father and just spend as much time as he can with the kids. Mom comes home while the guys are talking and yells and client and calls the police. Client had been there before and it was not a protected address. However, about a month before this the Ex changed her protected address to the boyfriends address. She never told my client either in text, email or person. And the State has zero evidence that the District Clerk followed the law and mailed him notice of the change of address. If fact the police couldn’t find it in their computer system either. The police only saw the actual piece of paper that she filed when she handed it to him. The Ex admitted on the stand she never told Client that the address had been changed and that it was the first time the day he came over that she told him. In fact, multiple times she is on video saying that the client doesn’t know she changed the address. Judge did the right thing and granted a Motion for Directed verdict when the State rested their case. Why was this case even tried? This was nothing but overzealous prosecution by the DAs office. Client had no criminal history and there was no violence involved. The DAs refused to grant him PTI (a type of probation he could expunged once completed) and only offered deferred adjudication (which affects parental rights). The jurors were all very strongly for Not Guilty anyways, but Judge instructed them to find the client Not Guilty since there was zero proof the client had any knowledge of the newly changed address. The DAs said the chief wanted to dismiss it the Friday before trial but they thought they could make it. That is a pure violation of their oath as a DA and the Rules of Professional Conduct. For the first time in my entire career I had to make an official complaint after this verdict because of the way the DAs handled this case. It’s either an unwritten blanket policy or vindictive prosecution; both of which should never be allowed. Thanks to God for bringing it all together and the Judge and the Jury for doing the right thing.