Texas Supreme Court to Rule on #FreeJoshJaros - Constitutional Rights to Attorney at Stake
I recently helped file a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus before the Supreme Court of Texas regarding the egregious constitutional violations of Judge Patrice McDonald in Montgomery County, Texas. Hopefully the SCOTX will stand up for the Constitution and Free Joshua Jaros. Specifically, Judge McDonald refused to allow Joshua Jaros to have an attorney in a criminal proceeding, and then threw him in jail for a debt that he could not afford and without the chance to have an attorney to represent him and present his case as the Constitution requires.
The Joshua Jaros Habeas Corpus petition Supreme Court case number is 19-1101 IN RE JOSHUA LEROY JAROS.
If the name Judge Patrice McDonald sounds familiar, it is because she has been in the headlines recently by Investigative Reporter Wayne Dolcefino. Wayne has been exposing Judge McDonald after she threatened to throw a man in jail for not paying for an attorney and for spousal support for his bigamist ex in a divorce proceeding.
The man, Mark Athans, filed for divorce after he found out his wife of 5 months was already married. The woman was a fraudster and charged with Felony Bigamy. The marriage between Mark and woman was voided in the state in which it occurred. That didn’t stop Judge McDonald though who proceeded with the divorce case and refused to consider that there is no marriage due to the fraud and felony behavior of Mark’s ex, and even was going to jail the victim Mark if he did not pay his con artist ex’s attorney fees.
The latest victim of Judge McDonald is Joshua Jaros, who now sits in jail after having his Constitutional rights tossed out the window. The situation with Josh Jaros reveals a bigger issue with the horrible family law system in Texas in which good parents, mostly fathers, get separated from their children which causes a ripple effect of harm to the children and society as a whole. Reducing incentive for parents to fight over children should be a priority in Texas. Equal Shared Parenting laws overwhelmingly and on a bi partisan basis passed out of the Texas House this past session but never made it to the floor. Children should be able to have access and love from both fit parents, and parents should not have incentive to fight with their children’s lives and instead have to practice equal shared parenting. This would reduce the factual devastating effects on children that this fighting and parental alienation causes because parents will be forced to share costs and parenting instead of parents using their children as pawns to get a little more parenting time to hurt their ex or to be able to get more child support or be awarded legal fees for their lawyers.
Josh Jaros was jailed in Montgomery County Texas after he received no jury trial and after he was denied an attorney which is a basic constitutional right and is even Texas Law. There were other issues as well such as fatal flaws in the notice and pleadings. Josh Jaros is a great father who supports and takes care of his kids but could not pay the several hundred dollars a month to his ex-wife each month after Josh already pays to take care of his kids half the time and provides a roof over their head and food for them to eat etc. Both parents should always be able to equally be with their children if there is no threat of harm or violence etc, and supporting children in Texas means both parents taking care of the children equally. Texas needs to pass equal shared parenting laws so that children get to have both of their parents in their lives, and it would exponentially cut down on the fighting and tearing apart and bankrupting of families in the court system of fit parent had no choice but to share their child equally instead of being able to go to court and fight for more time or more money. #FreeJoshJaros
The Texas and US Constitutions require that any criminal defendant has a right to an attorney and even the right to have one appointed for them if they are unable to afford one. Seems pretty straight forward right? Unfortunately, the Court systems in Texas (and in the Nation) do not always follow the Constitution and are in need of serious reform. The Constitutional rights we all hold dear frequently get tossed out the window in courtrooms where judges can virtually do whatever they want with immunity. There are many good and great Judges who follow the law and the Constitution, but there are also Judges who do not. There is very little oversight when clear laws and rules are violated by judges. There is even less method of reprimanding a Judge, and even less of an adequate way to reverse a Judge who clearly violates the law or the Constitution. If the Law or the Constitution says a Judge has to do something specific, and the judge simply refuses, then what recourse does someone have? Just because the law says it MUST be done does not mean a judge has to follow it because there is NO reason for them to. They won’t be disciplined. They MIGHT be overturned if you can get an appeals court to take interest in the case but that could take years on appeal. Mandamus is the appropriate form of demanding that a Judge follow the law or constitution when it is clear they have not during the pendency of a case, but mandamus is rarely taken up even if the judge is completely wrong because the appeals court does not have to take them up and can just say they don’t have time to rule on the mandamus. Texas must create a better system of immediate and mandatory review when there is a question of whether or not a judge in a case is not following a clear and mandatory law or rule that must be followed. People’s lives and time and money should not have to wait for years of appeals to overturn a bad judge when there is a clear violation of law or rule by a judge. The clear violation by a judge should be resolved quickly so the underlying case moves forward and gets resolved in a fair and unbiased manner. Judges should be more strictly required to follow mandatory laws and procedures or face real consequences. As it stands now, Judges have no incentive to actually follow mandatory requirements if they know they will not get in trouble.