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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The relator, Carla Lee Suson, has filed a petition for writ of mandamus requesting that this court order respondents to perform their ministerial duties under the city charter of the city of Kingsville and hold a recall election. HOLDING:Conditionally granted. The relator complains that the city secretary violated the ministerial duty imposed on her by �24 of the city charter when she did not “at once submit” the recall petition to the governing authority of the city “upon the return of such petition.” The relator contends that the city charter does not give the city secretary or the city commission the power to review and disqualify signatures. The respondents assert that the city secretary is duty-bound to conduct a facial review of all recall petitions to determine whether they comply with the city charter and the Texas Election Code. Section 24 contains no provision giving the city commission, the city secretary or anyone else the authority or duty to determine the sufficiency of recall petitions. Section 24 of the Kingsville city charter provides: “The person exercising the duties of city clerk, upon the return of such petition shall at once submit the same to the governing authority of the city, and shall notify the officer or officers sought to be recalled of such action. If the official whose removal is sought does not resign within five (5) days after such notice is given, the governing authority of the city shall thereupon order and fix a day for holding a recall election, the date of which election shall not be less than fifteen (15) nor more than thirty (30) days from the time such petition was presented to the governing authority of the city.” The charter only provides that recall petitions be submitted to the city’s governing authority by the person exercising the duties of city clerk. Once the petitions are submitted, if the officials do not resign, an election “shall” be ordered by the city’s governing authority. The court does not infer from this language that the city secretary or the city commissioners have a right or duty to examine the sufficiency of the petitions. In the absence of such a provision, due process gives those parties subject to recall the right to file a suit in the district court to obtain a judicial determination of the sufficiency of the petitions in an adversary proceeding, after proper notice and hearing. Respondents also assert that Texas Election Code �277.003 clearly contemplates that the city secretary is responsible for reviewing recall petitions to ensure that the petitions technically comply with all the legal requirements. Section 277.003 of the election code, entitled “Verifying Signatures by Statistical Sample,” provides: “If a petition contains more than 1,000 signatures, the city secretary or other authority responsible for verifying the signatures may use any reasonable statistical sampling method in determining whether the petition contains the required number of valid signatures, except that the sample may not be less than 25 percent of the total number of signatures appearing on the petition or 1,000, whichever is greater. If the signatures on a petition circulated on a statewide basis are to be verified by the secretary of state, the sample prescribed by Section 141.069 applies to the petition rather than the sample prescribed by this section.” Section 277.003 merely provides how a person responsible for verifying signatures may determine the validity of signatures when a petition contains more than 1,000 signatures. There is no provision in the Kingsville city charter that assigns anyone the responsibility for verifying signatures. Furthermore, each of the three petitions for recall contain less than 1,000 signatures. The court concludes that �277.003 does not apply to the facts of this case. OPINION:Hinojosa, J.; Hinojosa, Yanez and Castillo, JJ.

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