Attorney files restraining order against SPI City Hall

NEWSCENTER 23
News

POSTED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 4:10pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 4:24pm

Earlier this week, NewsCenter 23 interviewed a criminal defense attorney regarding Spring Breakers' legal rights, our interview, however, was cut short as the attorney was escorted from the front of South Padre Island City Hall. Na'Tassia Finley has the video and more on what legal action the attorney is now taking and why.

Janet Stockard, a criminal defense attorney on South Padre Island has filed a restraining order against the city, the Interim City Manager, Darla Jones, and employees of City Hall.

She says the city and it's employees are interfering with her legal duties in representing her clients, "I had to quickly prepare a lawsuit because I have representing duties to my clients that I have to take care of."

It all started on Monday as NewsCenter 23 was conducting an interview, outside of City Hall, with Stockard, regarding Spring Breakers' legal rights. As you can see, an officer in the background is walking back and forth before approaching Stockard and myself on the outside steps of the building, "The officer never addressed me, other than a hello, but said he needed a word with the attorney. Assuming it was on another matter, I stepped away and told Stockard I'd finish talking to her in a few minutes."

According to the legal documents filed, the officer told Stockard he'd been asked to escort her off the property. When asked why, he said he wasn't sure, but that he was asked to do so by administration.

The officer then escorted Stockard to her vehicle and remained in the parking lot until she drove off, "No, I have no idea. Still no idea why, no one has told me anything."

The document goes on to say that after our interview, Stockard had two clients she needed to represent in court, but she was prevented from doing so, by being denied access to the building.

Stockard claims Monday's entire incident is a violation of her first amendment rights to free speech, free press and right to free assembly, "They have no legal reason from preventing anyone from doing that period, especially not an attorney."

Stockard has also filed an open records request under the Public Information Act to figure out who from the administration office ordered her off the property. The office has ten days to provide that information before a complaint will be filed with the Attorney General's Office.

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