Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The Cedar Hill Independent School District held a special bond election on Oct. 20, 2001, to get voter approval of an $89.7 million bond to finance a new high school and upgrade existing facilities. The district set up temporary polling places, and the voters approved the bond. Phillip Bielamowicz, a Cedar Hill citizen, contested the election. He complained that the temporary voting places were unfair because they coincided with school events, which would attract voters who were likely to support the bond election. Specifically, he complained of the polling place that was located inside the football stadium during a paid football game. He also claimed in his contest that the district failed to accurately state the costs to either repair or replace the student administration complex; that the use of a single polling place on election day was improper; and that the use of a document prepared by the financial institution handling the bond issuance for the district was improper. The trial court granted the school district’s and other defendants’ motion for summary judgment. On appeal, Bielamowicz argues the election laws are unconstitutional, the school’s counsel had no authority to act on their behalf, and the trial judge did not have an oath of office on file. He also appeals the trial court’s order compelling post-judgment discovery, which this court construes as a petition for a writ of mandamus. HOLDING:Affirmed. Writ denied. The court first finds that the school district had authority to establish temporary polling places. The court then finds that Bielamowicz has cited no authority to support his argument that the establishment of the temporary polling places in this case was somehow in violation of the election code or otherwise fraudulent. The court adds that the polling site at the football game was set up in a way that allowed someone to enter and vote without purchasing a ticket. The court also finds a lack of support for Bielamowicz’s suggestion that a marketing document prepared by SWS Securities was somehow improperly possessed or used by the district. His arguments on appeal that several election laws are unconstitutional were not made to the trial court. The court then examines various immunity issues. The district was immune because its actions did not involve the use of a motor-drive vehicle or equipment, as required to waive immunity under the Texas Tort Claims Act. As to the immunity of the officials on the school board, the court finds their decisions of whether to hold a special bond election involve the exercise of discretion in the performance of their regular duties in good faith. The trial court did not err in concluding that the officials were immune from suit. Bielamowicz asserts that the district court visiting judge who granted the district’s motion for summary judgment also lacked authority to act. Bielamowicz did not object to the visiting judge. By failing to timely object, Bielamowicz waived his complaint. He also failed to show how the absence of the board of trustees’ oath of office (if any) impacted either the summary judgment or the motion to compel. Specifically addressing the motion to compel, the court also finds that Bielamowicz waived his objection because he did not file a response to the district’s motion on time. OPINION:Carolyn Wright, J.; James, Wright and Bridges, JJ.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.