Harris County Judges Accused of Favoritism

October 14, 2020

Judges in Harris County historically underutilize the Harris County Public Defender's Office, even though that office has been shown to do a better job than independent court-appointed lawyers and state law requires judges to give priority to assigning public defenders to represent cases when they have the capacity. TFDP filed disciplinary complaints against several District Court judges who consistently failed to appoint the Harris County Public Defender, instead funneling hundreds of thousands of public dollars to private lawyers on a per-case basis. TFDP will continue to monitor appointment rates in Harris County and elsewhere to ensure that judges are following the law.