Popular Precinct 7 Justice Loses Fight To Stay on Bench.
HOUSTON- She was first sworn in as presiding judge of Harris County Justice of the Peace Court (Precinct 7, Place 1) on June 20, 2007.
But… on the 7th day of July, 2017, the rising star and popular Precinct 7 Judge Hilary H. Green fell from grace.
Green now finds herself suspended from the bench and out of a job after months of being on the hot seat for alleged misconduct and or personal and questionable behaviors in some past “off-the-bench” activities – some of which involved alleged drug use, alleged infidelities and a messy breakup from former husband Ronald Green.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Hilary H. Green’s lawyer called the ruling by the state Supreme Court “frustrating and surprising.” He pointed out that many of the accusations had long been public, and yet voters overwhelmingly reelected Green as a Harris County justice of the peace.
“She’s very popular in the precinct,” Chip Babcock said in the newspaper interview. “Lots of communication in the community is about how horrible this is.”
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct first asked the Texas Supreme Court to suspend her from the bench over the misconduct accusations.
However it should be noted that Green has not been charged with a crime.
The accusations against Judge Green, Justice of the Peace in the county’s 7th Precinct, were revealed in a 316-page court filing by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s and sent and reviewed by the state’s highest court.
According to a court document from the Supreme Court of Texas, an order of suspension was issued to Green detailing that pursuant to Article 5, Section 1-a(6)A of the Texas Constitution and Rule 15(b) of the Texas procedural Rules for the Removal or Retirement of Judges, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct has recommended the immediate suspension, without pay, of Hilary H. Green, Justice of the Peace for Precinct 7, Place 1, Houston, Harris County, Texas.
The document went on to state that it is the order of the Supreme Court of Texas that Green be suspended immediately and without pay effective on July 7, 2017.
The documents contain some vivid and colorful descriptions of alleged questionable behavior and at least four separate judicial misconduct complaints against Green made between 2012 and 2016.
Leading up to the review and triggering the suspension according to court documents were allegations that revealed a more darker side to Green’s personal life.
According to the documents, the Harris County justice of the peace is accused of misusing illegal drugs, “sexting” a court employee and lying about her relationship with a convicted conman. Also included in the accusations are alleged abused prescription pain killers, the use of hard drugs, like Ecstasy and cocaine, the alleged hiring and use of prostitutes and using her bailiff to buy illegal substances.
About Judge Green
Green was undoubtedly qualified to hold the position and shined in her ability to serve and understand the community where she worked in Precinct 7.
On the job, Judge Green brings to the bench a wealth of knowledge and experience in civil and criminal matters.
Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Green has been a resident of Houston, Harris County, Texas since 1989.
Her Education includes a Bachelor of Business Administration concentration in Finance
University of Houston and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. She is licensed by the State Bar of Texas and is a Certified Mediator.
Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Green served as managing partner of The Green Firm, LLP.
In March of 2008, Judge Green secured her position as presiding judge in a contested primary election. In November 2012, Green once again successfully secured her position in an uncontested election. And was soundly reelected in November 2016.
She also has worked as a trial attorney for major corporations, as well as represented individuals in matters ranging from complex litigation to small claims.
Justice Courts Creation
The Justice Courts in Texas were created under the Texas Constitution and are governed by the provisions of Chapter 27 of the Texas Government Code. Prior to August 31, 2013, Justices of the peace also sat as judges of the small claims courts.
As of August 31, 2013, small claims cases are filed in the Justice Courts and governed by procedural rules adopted by the Supreme Court.
Justice Courts have jurisdiction of civil matters in which the amount in controversy is no more than $10,000, exclusive of interest and court costs, but including attorney fees, if any.
The courts also have jurisdiction of suits to foreclose mortgages and enforce liens on personal property in which the amount in controversy is otherwise within the Justice Court’s jurisdiction, and of suits relating to enforcement of a deed restriction of a residential subdivision that does not concern a structural change to a dwelling.
Justice Courts have jurisdiction of debt claim cases, claims for the recovery of a debt brought by an assignee of a claim, a financial institution, a debt collector or collection agency, or a person or entity primarily engaged in the business of lending money at interest. The courts also have jurisdiction of cases of forcible entry and detainer, or evictions.
The courts do not have jurisdiction of suits for divorce, suits to recover damages for slander or defamation, suits for title to land, or suits to enforce a lien on land.
Jurisdiction is the power of the court to entertain an action, consider the merits, and render a valid judgment.
No replacement has been seated on the bench to replace Green.
According to Green’s attorney, the suspension will last until a civil trial can be held to consider whether to remove her from office.
Court officials said the court business will continue to function and be on a rotating judge schedule until further notice or until a replacement is selected.