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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Frieda Fiske served as a Dallas municipal judge for approximately 13 years, either in a full-time or a part-time capacity, until May 30, 2004, when the Dallas City Council declared all municipal judge positions vacant. The city council tasked a citizens’ advisory commission to make recommendations to staff the vacant judge positions. The commission met, received applications and interviewed persons interested in receiving appointments to the vacant positions. The commission reported its recommendations to the city council. Fiske had applied for reappointment but was not one of the persons the commission recommended. The city council approved the commission’s recommendations and filled all vacant positions with the persons that the commission recommended. Fiske contends that the actions of the commission, and ultimately the action of the city council in failing to reappoint her, were void or voidable, because the commission violated the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA) by 1. failing to give proper specific notice of the meetings at which it considered its recommendations; and 2. failing to make and preserve written minutes or tape recordings of the proceedings at such meetings as required by TOMA. The city contended that the commission did not fail to give adequate specific notice of its meetings or fail to prepare and preserve written minutes or tape recordings of its meetings; the commission is not a governmental body within the meaning of the TOMA and therefore is not subject to the act, and the city council took action to fill the vacant positions within 91 days after Fiske’s term expired, so Fiske did not become a holdover judge entitled to serve an additional term. In addition, the city argued that, because the term to which Fiske sought reinstatement expired, her case is moot. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court agreed that the case was moot because of the expiration of the two-year term to which the commission’s recommended candidates were appointed. Therefore, the court stated, there is no declaration or judgment that it could make that would restore to Fiske what she lost because of the commission’s allegedly improper actions. Fiske, the court noted, did not seek damages in her suit. A declaratory judgment, the court stated, is proper only if it will have a tangible effect on a litigant’s rights, status or legal relations. The court also rejected Fiske’s contention that she was a holdover judge under Texas Government Code �29.005 entitled to holdover for a new term if the city council failed to act on new appointments within 91 days from the date the vacancies arose. The court found that the city appointed new judges within the statutory time frame. In addition, the court found that the trial court’s summary judgment was also proper, because the conclusive summary judgment evidence showed that the commission was not a governmental body subject to TOMA. TOMA, the court stated, applies to a “governmental body.” In particular, Texas Government Code �551.001(3)(D) defines “governmental body” as “a deliberative body that has rulemaking or quasi-judicial power and that is classified as a department, agency, or political subdivision of a county or municipality.” The commission, the court noted, is a citizens’ advisory group set up to advise the city council as to persons qualified and suited to serve as municipal judges. It is not a part of the city council. The summary judgment evidence, the court stated, conclusively showed that the commission was not a governmental body within the meaning and coverage of the TOMA, because: it had no rulemaking power; it had no quasi-judicial power; and it was not classified as a department, agency or political subdivision of a county or municipality. OPINION:Cornelius, C.J. (retired); Cornelius, C.J. (retired), and Carter and Moseley, J.J.

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