A state district judge dismissed five indictments against suspended Judge Christopher Dupuy recently, but also ordered the Galveston jurist not to file any more pro se motions in his own criminal cases.
During an August 13th hearing, visiting judge Ryan Patrick of Harris County's 177th District Court dismissed five of the indictments, denied motions to quash two other indictments pending against Dupuy and approved a protective order prohibiting Dupuy from filing any more motions while he has court appointed counsel, confirmed David Glickler, an assistant Texas Attorney General who is prosecuting Dupuy.
"He's still under indictment for two felonies and four misdemeanors," Glickler says. Glickler declined to comment on the motion for protection he filed in the case which prompted Patrick to restrict Dupuy's filing of pro se motions, citing a gag order in the case.
Dupuy did not immediately return an email for comment. Dupuy's court-appointed attorney Adam Brown of Houston's DeToto, Van Buren & Brown, could not be reached for comment. Fox Curl of Houston's Fox Curl & Associates, who has also been appointed to represent Dupuy did not immediately return a call for comment.
Earlier this year, Dupuy was indicted by a Galveston County grand jury on eleven charges related to actions he allegedly took while on the bench, many of them related to disputes he had with family lawyers who appeared before him. After Dupuy was indicted, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct suspended him from the bench without pay. The Texas Attorney General's Office has also filed a civil petition in state district court seeking Dupuy's removal from office. [See "Judge Christopher Dupuy Indicted, Removal Petition Filed" Texas Lawyer, May 27, 2013, page 1.]
Dupuy has denied the allegations in both the criminal and civil proceedings against him. On July 8th, Dupuy filed a pro se motion to quash many of the indictments pending against him alleging they should be dismissed because Texas judges have "absolute immunity" for work performed on the bench.
The indictments that Patrick dismissed against Dupuy include two felony retaliation charges and three official abuse of capacity charges relating to contempt orders Dupuy issued against three lawyers who appeared in his court, Glickler says. The indictments that remain untouched by Patrick's ruling include two felony aggravated perjury charges and four other misdemeanor charges, Glickler says.
Dupuy had been previously represented by retained attorney George Parnham of Houston's Parnham & McWilliams. However on July 25th, Patrick approved of Dupuy's pauper's oath in which he requested court-appointed counsel, noting that his assets included $2,700 in his checking account and $1,000 in a savings account. Patrick later appointed Brown and Curl to represent Dupuy.
According to the August 13 motion for protection that prosecutors filed in the case, Dupuy filed a pro se answer to the aggravated perjury indictments on July 31, the day after he was arrested in connection with those charges. The motion notes that Dupuy was previously warned during a July 25th hearing by the trial judge that Dupuy would not be allowed to participate in a "hybrid representation" of himself along with his court-appointed counsel.
"Based on the above events, the State hereby requests that the Court ORDER the Defendant to refrain from filing any documents on his own in the cases in which he is a criminal defendant, represented by two court-appointed attorneys," the motion states.
Patrick's Aug 13 ruling approving the motion prohibits Dupuy "from filing any document whatsoever in any of the eleven criminal cases in which he is the defendant."