Legal issues

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez not acknowledging deputy acted unlawfully in seizing helmet camera

Carlos Miller / Photography Is Not A Crime blog

The Dallas County Sheriff's Office said they have launched an internal investigation on a deputy who pulled a motorcyclist over just to confiscate his helmet camera.

That usually means they will they do nothing about the incident in the hopes the media will eventually forget about it.

The department has already been attempting to manipulate the media by releasing a dash cam video that was completely unrelated to the incident, showing another motorcyclist cutting in front of another deputy.

BD Note - If Valdez can't figure out a way to punish the DSO for seizing the camera illegally, then we need to vote her out of office come November

Click here for the complete story

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues
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After the SUP: Lowest Greenville bars are losing money to Upper Greenville bars

Just the other day, a friend who does not live in the neighborhood asked BD

So how's that Lowest Greenville rezoning working out??

Since we opposed this debacle of a zoning plan, blurting out something emotional and without basis in fact was not a good idea.

Of course, looking outside my front door at the Lowest Greenville WalMart did not make biting my tongue any less painful.

So what's a better way to gauge the success or failure of the SUP than finding something to compare before and after the rezoning, not just down here but to other businesses in the neighborhood.

Hello, State Comptroller!

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues
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Lost Society lawsuit against BD tossed into a pile of meth-covered towels, set on fire and dismissed forever!

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." - quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

The libel/defamation/slander/copyright infringement lawsuit filed in December 2010 against BarkingDogs.org and its publisher by the purported owner of now-closed forever club Lost Society, Fernando Rosales, has been dismissed in a summary judgement. The order was signed by Dallas County Judge Mark Greenberg on Friday, April 27, 2012, in a hearing that lasted about 30 seconds. The motion orders Fernando Rosales to pay reasonable costs incurred by BD and his attorneys in their defense of the suit, which was filed in December 2010.

No-Evidence Motion to Dismiss Lost Society vs BarkingDogs lawsuit, signed April 27, 2012

BD was represented pro bono by attorneys at the Dallas law firm of Vinson & Elkins, at the request of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press based in Arlington VA. RCFP has been working with BD since he was first subpoenaed by Rosales and his attorney in November 2010 over a lawsuit between Rosales and Lowest Greenville property owner Andres Properties. Andres had locked-out Rosales and bar co-owner Brightman Nwatu after a shooting left a Lost Society patron dead on the Char Bar parking lot in June 2010. A few days after the shooting, Nwatu was taken into custody by DHS’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers because he was an illegal alien who should have been deported nearly seven years ago, but managed to evade authorities. The TABC filed charges against Nwatu and Rosales for presenting false papers about the ownership of the bar in his application for a TABC license.

Rosales was represented in this civil action by ambulance-chasing attorney Armando Miranda, who is currently serving the second of two suspended probations related to his law practice by the Texas Bar Association. Rosales was not represented at the Friday hearing. Rosales can't even pay his attorneys because he is sitting in the Rockwall County Jail. BD's lawyers filed the motion only after months of playing phone tag with Miranda and his assistant, who had promised cross-their-hearts-hope-to-die their client would listen to reason and drop the lawsuit.

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues
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El Paso federal court dismisses SLAPP suit against neighborhood association

A federal judge in El Paso granted several motions to dismiss in a "SLAPP" suit in federal court this week.

The lawsuit, filed by night club owner David Cooper against the Cielo Vista neighborhood association, the City of El Paso and several individual defendants (a total of 12 defendants) alleged defamation and tortuous interference. The neighborhood association and several neighbors had spoken out against Cooper's plans to bring a nightclub into the area and the City of El Paso supported the neighbors. The association also protested a liquor license application. KFOX Channel 14 posted a story about the lawsuit on its website.

Defendants filed several motions to dismiss on various grounds, including based on the Texas Citizens Participation Act, Texas' new anti-SLAPP law. As one of the motions stated, "CVNA is being sued for encouraging its City Representatives to act!"

Click here for the complete story at Slapp'ed in Texas

BD Note - An Unopposed No-Evidence Motion for Summary Judgment, asking the court to dismiss Lost Society's and Fernando Rosales' suit against Barking Dog, will be held on April 27th. This lawsuit was filed before the Citizens Participation Act was filed; BD claimed protection under the Texas Shield Law, which protects a reporter's sources of information from disclosure.

Rosales is currently getting ready to spend Easter in the Rockwall County Jail after being arrested for possession of more than 3 kilos of methamphetamine last October. BD has no idea if he will play the role of Easter Bunny or Easter Chick for his cellmate.

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Legal issues
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Now we know why Gloria's is scared of Bishop Arts RPO... ka-ching!

After years of dealing with bar owners on Lowest Greenville Avenue, BD has learned one thing - It's all about the money. The average bar owner on the strip would pay $35/sf or more plus insurance plus repairs, his patrons would pay $20 or more to park, and the drinks would be expensive, unless you were a $30,000 millionaire. The bar owners hated it when BD would post their TABC mixed bev sales reports. Despite the fact these were public records, they claimed it was an invasion of their privacy. One went so far as to say the posting of the reports was a declaration of war on the bars. And we can see how well they managed, eh?

Even Gloria's business neighbors are fighting to keep their parking for their customers. This photo was shot Sunday afternoon, but BD understands it has been in use for the last month.

It's not all happy parking in Bishop Arts. This sign was posted at the entrance to the 611 Bishop strip (Cafe Brazil, Fitness Anytime, etc)

So while BD was looking at the fight against RPO in the Bishop Arts area, a BA resident asked him to dig into the sales numbers for Gloria's Restaurant, the biggest and so far shiniest bar on the street. During the rezoning process a few years ago, the residents were promised, Gloria's won't move (a mile) up the street. Not gonna happen. Well it did happen, and they opened up in an old firehouse (and BD will admit it's a beautiful building when he was in it last night).

Gloria's employees parking on Neely Street prompted the residents to buy an RPO for their block. Even though Gloria's now owns the medical center on the south side of the street, with plans to move their corporate office into the location and provide more employee parking, the residents were not about to wait on another promise.

BD pulled up the reports not just for this location, but all others under the Gloria's flag. We are posting them without comment, but you can whistle at the numbers in the privacy of your home. Mixed bev sales reports are not confidential, and there's nothing illegal about posting them here.

At the end of the sales reports, BD has included a summary of Gloria's major TABC violations, resulting in nearly $9,000 in penalties paid to the TABC in the past ten years. And some interesting City Council campaign contributions by some of the property owners who oppose Resident Parking Only.

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues
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