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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 30 years."


Last week I threw a wall-eyed hissy fit...about a woman in Fort Bend who is suffering at the hands of the justice system. I still am. To bring you up to speed, this woman with her four school-age children had her electricity cut off for eight and one half days because her soon to be ex-husband failed to follow judges orders and keep up with the payment to the utility company.

Not only did she lose what little food she had been able to buy, she had no means to keep what she did buy cold, nor to cook it. When she tried to have the electricity reconnected, she realized the bills were being sent directly to her future ex-husband so she had to jump through hoops to even find out the name of one out of 400 providers. Kids bathed at gym or friend’s house, homework by candlelight, etc.

Her father finally was able to get the electricity re-connected and she finally got an emergency hearing before Judge Jim Shoemake. This was the judge who earlier told her to get a job even if it meant flipping burgers.

I don’t know about you, but I have one high-school age grandchild, and it takes the whole family to run her back and forth to school and band. This women has four kids and hasn’t worked in 20 years. She was prohibited by this same judge from moving to Plano to be near her parents so she could finish her education and she could support the children.

Is this judge from the Dark Ages? His antediluvian rulings against females shows he doesn’t know we have made great gains in family law since, oh, I don’t know, the 50’s!

So at the emergency hearing Friday, Judge Jim decided that the mother could move her children to Plano to be near her parents and to finish her education.

He also ordered her future ex-husband to pay her $3,500 because that fool went out and sold community property. The $3,500 was her half.

Did I mention that the mother was a cancer survivor and is now driving a van her church sold her for $1.

No rulings were made on all the other orders the judge has made by which the future ex-husband has refused to abide. That hearing is the day before Thanksgiving in Judge Shoemake’s court.

An interesting thing happened on the way to court....Before I could even print my last week’s rant, two different people came to my office to tell me what they considered bizarre rulings by this same Judge Shoemake.

While at the courthouse, I noticed that Judge Jim had a big ol’ “Elect Judge Jim” sign on the side of his car. It dawned on me that he was going to have to run for election.

Gov. Good Hair had only appointed him for a year, during which time he could prove his worth as a judge.

I think we have our answer.

Judge Jim’s wife suddenly went to work after he ascended to the judgehood. She had never worked that I know of but suddenly she is District Clerk Annie Elliott’s First Assistant. She jumped over the heads of many long-time District Clerk employees to start right at the top.

Even curiouser and curiouser is the fact that Annie Elliott is married to Assistant District Attorney Mike Elliott, who often has cases in Judge Jim’s court. They’re all big buds.

Now I’m not saying there’s anything untoward going on over there. But it doesn’t look, smell, or seem, right.

In fact, it seems downright incestuous.

Even funnier....While I and everyone else was waiting for the emergency hearing Friday, I decided to lope on up to Judge Susan Lowery’s court where Logene Foster, the attorney of the future ex-husband, is supposedly involved in a long DUI case that has kept him from the emergency hearing. I decided to check that out.

First, I get up there and a bailiff tried to keep me out of the courtroom.

I asked her who said I couldn’t go in. She said, “The judge.”

I said I had something in my purse that said I could. Before everyone ducked and I was arrested, I hastened to assure them it was the Constitution. I said, “Call the judge. I want to know the reason. This is America. We have open trials here!”

Head bailiff Mary Charles came to the door and said I could come in. “What about all these other people?” I asked.

“They can too, “Mary Charles said. “Why was I stopped?” I asked.

“New bailiff,” Mary Charles mumbled.

Well, when we got to the courtroom, sure enough the DUI case was still going on although the jury was out.

I was told sotto voce that the case had been pled down to a “failure to signal a turn” because one of the jurors had been witnessed urinating on the courthouse wall earlier.

Now this was a jury case that had gone on for four days. Rather than re-try the man, the state opted to plead it down and the jury was returned to the room. I was told the errant juror would be arrested after the jury was dismissed. I guess they were expecting trouble and that was why the bailiff closed the courtroom.

After the jury filed out and deputies went to the jury room to arrest the guy, Logene Foster called out, “Get a warrant.”

What do you want to bet that Logene (sometimes referred to as Logjam) represents the juror?

Back to the future....Let’s talk about the sign on Judge Jim’s car. He is running in the Republican primary in March. You have to sign up before Jan. 1. I’m already recruiting (begging) someone to run against him, preferably a woman, because we only have one woman judge in that entire courthouse.

After I said that last week, I got an e-mail from a local wag who said: “Are you losing it? Is somebody putting grey matter removal in your oxygen?

“Of course there is a short supply of female judges in Fort Bend. You know better than me that to be a judge you have to have FAILED to be a good lawyer and since women lawyers are a lot less likely to fail, well duh.......

“Now take two aspirin and call me in the morning.”

Now, failing to find a good woman, I’m open to supporting a good man. However, I’m not going to support just anybody. But if you are interested, call me. I’m going all out. Or all in. Or whatever.

I think a new generation of lawyers, judges, and District Attorneys have forgotten some things about me and this newspaper. I may not be able to get you elected, but I can darn sure get your unelected.

Let me refresh your memory.

Constable Bob Parker

District Judge Charlie Dickerson

JP Robert Stahl

Sheriff Perry Hilligeist

District Attorney Sam Dick

County Judge Mike Rozell

Former Mayor Dean Hrbacek, and a whole slew of others who didn’t run just because of the threat of non-support from this newspaper.

So if you are interested in running for this district judgeship, call me at 281-690-4200. Hell, at this point I’ll even support a Democrat.

Remember what happened in Dallas County and all its previously undefeatable Republican judges!

I just love going over there to that courthouse, sometimes referred to as the “tower of power.” There’s always something going on and a story to tell.


Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  November 28, 2007