On Wednesday, June 21, 2023, the State of Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished Justice of the Peace Tomas Ramirez III, Precinct 4, Devine, Medina County for lending the prestige of his judicial office to advance his own private legal services and his position as a justice of the peace.
The case was brought by the Commission, under case #CJC No. 23-0149.
The charges cited Ramirez’s violation of Canon 2B of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.
The Code of Judicial Conduct can be found here.
In a letter by the Commission, Ramirez was alleged to have engaged in misconduct by advertising on his website his legal services and prominently displaying his picture wearing a judicial robe, and including content about his position as a Justice of the Peace. The website also offered a link for individuals to pay citations in his Court.
In his response, Ramirez referred to the website advertising both his private legal practice and his judicial position as information for individuals interested in learning more about him. He explained that the content related to his position as Justice of the Peace was included to keep people informed of his activities.
The filing states:
“During his appearance before the Commission, Judge Ramirez testified he included information about his judicial position on the website hoping to curtail the number of phone calls were receiving about cases pending in his court.”
In his testimony, Judge Ramirez acknowledged that having a “Justice of the Peace” tab on a website advertising his private legal services could potentially impact his law practice.
Accordingly, the Commission concluded that Ramirez’s conduct violated the Code of Judicial Conduct as charged.
The disposition reads:
“Based on the record before it and the factual findings recited above, the Texas State Commission Judicial Conduct has determined the Honorable Tomas Ramirez III, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, in Devine, Medina County, Texas, should be publicly admonished and ordered to obtain additional education for lending the prestige of his judicial office to advance his own private interests by maintaining a website advertising both his private legal services and his position as a justice of the peace, on which he displayed a picture of himself wearing his judicial robe.”
Ramirez has been ordered to obtain two hours of continuing legal education in addition to his regular judicial education for the Fiscal year 2023 within 60 days from the date of receiving written notice from the Commission about the assignment of a mentor.
Judge Tomas Ramirez III earned a law degree from the University of Texas.
Judge’s courtroom is at 317 TX-132, Devine in Texas, and can be reached at +1 830-665-8020.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.