On Thursday, March 2, 2023, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in Texas publicly reprimanded Honorable Clyde Black, a justice of the peace, PCT. 1, Crockett, Houston County, Texas for failing to complete his judicial education for two consecutive academic years.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Clyde Black,” with case no. 23-0168.
The charges cited Canon 2A and 3B(2) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, Article V, Section 1-a(6)A of the Texas Constitution and Rule 3a(2) and 9b of the Rule of Judicial Education which state:
A judge shall comply with the law and should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
A judge shall maintain professional competence in the law.
A judge shall not engage in willful or persistent conduct that is clearly inconsistent with the proper performance of his duties or casts public discredit upon the judiciary.
Each Justice of the Peace will, as an official duty: in each fiscal year thereafter, complete 20 hours of instruction approved by a justice court education committee in the performance of the duties of the office.
After the end of each grant year, the Register will report to the applicable Education Committee the name of any judge or judicial officer who had not accumulated the minimum hours of education for that year, including such judges who are leaving office and do not plan to run for another term.
On February 1-3, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, during its meeting, concluded its review of the charges filed against Honorable Black. Allegedly, judge Black failed to complete 20 hours of judicial education for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years. These are the requirements of his position as justice of the peace.
Judge Black did seek and was granted a waiver for his educational requirements for the 2020-2021 academic year with the condition that he would complete the 19 hours of judicial education that he did not complete in that same year, in addition to the required judicial education that he should take for the 2021- 2022 academic years.
In response to the complaints, specifically regarding the 2020-2021 academic year, Judge Black believed that he completed his required course remotely but did not recall the dates or the courses. On the other hand, in the 2021-2022 academic year, Judge Black believed he completed the required courses when he attended the November 2021 TICTC Course in Galveston, Texas. However, the respondent did not provide any proof of his attendance at the said event.
Consistent with the records and the factual findings, the court decided to publicly reprimand the respondent.
The Disposition states:
“Based on the record before it and the factual findings recited above, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct has determined that the Honorable Clyde Black, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1, Crockett, Houston County, Texas, should be publicly reprimanded for his failure to complete his judicial education for the 2020 -2021 & 2021-2022 Academic Years. Judge Black’s failure in these respects constituted willful failures to comply with the law and to maintain professional competence in the law, and willful conduct that is clearly inconsistent with the proper performance of his duties and cast public discredit upon the judiciary or the administration of justice, in violation of Canons 2A and 3B(2) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, and Article V, Section 1-a(6)A of the Texas Constitution.”
Judge Black sits as a justice of the peace, PCT. 1, Crockett, Houston County, Texas located at 700 S 4th St, Crockett, TX 75835, and can be reached at +1 936-544-2564. His info can be found on ballotpedia.org.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.