Articles Tagged with Kaufman County

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Recently, inForney.com broke the news that Kaufman County Deputy Constable, Grant Cousins, had pled guilty to perjury stemming from an investigation done by the Texas Rangers involving allegations of sexual assault of a woman that occurred at a gravel pit located in Kaufman county. The allegations stem from an evening when, according to the report, Deputy Cousins had the woman in his patrol car “looking for narcotics locations”. This raises real concerns for the Constable’s office, Kaufman County, and the Kaufman County citizenry (because they could be on the hook for any settlement proceeds the County may have to pay out to settle her claims).

So, if the alleged victim were to sue Kaufman county, what would the lawsuit be about? It will likely be a Section 1983 claim found under federal law. Deputy Cousins is a Deputy Constable and would therefore be considered a “state actor” for purposes of the Statute. There is a lot of interesting case law on this issue, because believe it or not, police officer malfeasance of this sort is not that uncommon, but one case in particular has stood out to me. In Fontana v. Haskins, that case dealt with a woman who had been arrested and was therefore in the custody of the police at the time of the alleged malfeasance. Apparently, officer Haskins made unwanted advances and attempted to touch Fontana inappropriately without her consent.

The Court discussed the case under fourth amendment and fourteenth amendment grounds and whether the federal district court had properly granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendant officer. They concluded that the district court had erred in their ruling and allowed the case to move forward for trial. What is particularly interesting for our purposes is that (1) the Court discussed the behavior as fourteenth amendment violations, i.e. violation of due process, conduct that shocks the conscience. They noted that while sexual misconduct of an officer of an arrested person implicates the fourth amendment, when a police officer commits a sexual offense to a general person, i.e., regular citizen, the court analyzes it under the fourteenth  amendment.

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Guest and Gray, P.C. is committed to providing Kaufman county communities with the best possible civil litigation services. We are a full services law firm. When people ask us what kind of law we do, our response is always “its is better to explain what types of we DO NOT do,” which is basically two areas of law: bankruptcy and tax.

At Guest and Gray, there is literally no case too big. Our firm has grown to a point where no case is too big or too complex. Whether it be complex civil litigation involving business and corporate legal disputes, breach of contract, real estate law, personal injury or probate and estate planning, Guest and Gray has the lawyers that you need to help you with any legal issue.

TERRELL IS GROWING

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EasttexasEminent Domain and Condemnation is the process by which the city, county, state, or private utility or other statutorily granted entity, may come in and force you to sell all or part of your property to them under the guise of a public need. For the purposes of this article, the party claiming a public need will be called a “state actor”.

Although it is a fairly complicated process, the state actor will institute negotiations with the property owner in an attempt to purchase the property outright without actually entering into the “eminent domain” process.

Under Texas law, there are three elements required to show for eminent domain:  (1) The actor must be the state or a private entity authorized to condemn; (2) the property must be taken for public use; and (3) the landowner must receive adequate compensation for the condemned property.

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Guest and Gray, P.C. is a the largest local law firm in the Kaufman, Forney and Terrell areas. We are also the largest firm in Rockwall county. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, Guest and Gray, P.C. is prepared to handle almost any legal matter that you may have.

Terrell is a city on the rise. The city planning and Economic Development corp, Terrell America, have done a fantastic job of bringing business into the city. This means new jobs and new jobs will mean new residents. Terrell, like all of Kaufman county, is growing at a rapid pace. Terrell is becoming the East Texas hub that it once was when our parents were growing up. I remember my grandparents telling me about how they used to come in from East Texas just to go eat or shop in Terrell. Terrell is becoming that city once again.

Guest and Gray, P.C. is committed to the businesses and residents of Terrell and Kaufman county, and we are here to serve in numerous legal capacities. We are a full service law firm dedicated to providing the best legal representation around. Whether it be general civil litigation, such as contract or real estate disputes, or estate planning, probate and contested Wills. We even handle the more complex cases that most smaller and solo firms won’t handle, such as breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful death, complex real estate disputes, mergers and acquisitions, asset sales agreements, and general counsel services. You name it, Guest and Gray, P.C. has an attorney who can guide you through the legal process.

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FORNEY, Texas (via inForney.com) — One person was airlifted from a crash north of Forney on Sunday afternoon.

A single-vehicle crash was reported just after 2 p.m. on Farm-to-Market (FM) 740 north of Travis Ranch Boulevard.

A person was reportedly ejected from the vehicle and a Careflite medical helicopter was dispatched to the scene. FM 740 was briefly closed while emergency personnel worked to airlift the injured person to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, in unknown condition.

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traffic-highway-80-300x142Kaufman County is in a weird transitional phase from being a historically rural county with numerous small tightly knit communities to a more commercialized suburban sprawl where the ends of one city meet another.

When many of us originally moved to the area, we did so to “get away” from the sped up lifestyle of the city. However, being good Texans, we embraced the opportunities for economic growth and now Kaufman county is seeing not only incredible growth, but growth that is picking up speed.

Although much of Kaufman county is still rural, with county roads that are lined with small country neighborhoods and small to mid-sized working ranches. However, our cities are becoming bustling centers of commerce and those cities are encroaching on the county roads. Driving down FM 2757, you can see houses over the low rolling hills where Heartland is encroaching on one of the last remaining vestiges of Kaufman county’s relatively untouched beauty. Forney’s population is exploding. Terrell is showing everyone how business and planning for the future is done. Kaufman is growing. Even Crandall and other oft forgotten about areas of our county such as Kemp, Elmo, Warsaw, Talty, all of these areas are seeing growth (the author is from Combine- does anybody remember that Combine is actually a part of Kaufman County?).

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Stock-Accident-PhotoThe holiday package delivery time is in full swing for carriers like UPS and Fed EX. UPS expects this to be one of the busiest years ever for them, with an expected 750 million packages shipped over the Christmas holiday. That is a lot of boxes, people! All over the news we are hearing of the horrors of driving for these companies, with stories like this one where an Amazon delivery man actually pooped in someone’s driveway and drove off. Many other stories have come out about the carriers practices causing drivers to work long hours with no breaks and practically having to speed every where they go to make deliveries on time. As a result, we have seen a huge increase in the number of accidents involving drivers of UPS, Fed Ex, Amazon and the like over the last few years.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, in the 24-month period prior to December 3, 2017, UPS drivers were reported to have been involved in 2,003 crashes, 689 involving injuries, including 49 deaths. Since 2012, the number of crashes has increased by 38%; the number of injures has increased by 27%; and the number of fatalities has increased by 25.6%. Those may seem like crazy high statistics, but wait until we get to FedEx. Their numbers are astronomical.

Also according the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admnistration, in the 24-month period prior to December 3, 2017, FedEx Express drivers were reported to have been involved in 1762 crashes, 575 involving injuries, including 41 deaths. Since 2012, the number of crashes has increased by 254.5%; the number of injuries has increased by 192%; and the number of fatalities has increased by 273%. 273%! That is awful.