Featured: Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, at the podium addressing leaders with DHR Health, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and its School of Medicine, the City of McAllen, and South Texas news media on Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at the DHR Health campus on East Dove Avenue in McAllen, during the groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Texas Health Rio Grande Valley Biomedical Research, which will have its official ribbon-cutting later this year.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
Featured, from left: City Commissioner Eleazar Guajardo, City of Pharr, and Vice President, Pharr Economic Development Corporation; Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; Víctor Pérez, Executive Director, Pharr Economic Development Corporation; and Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, and Treasurer, Board of Directors, Pharr Economic Development Corporation. This image was taken on Thursday, August 2, 2018 as part of the celebration marking the completion of the Owassa Road project that improves traffic between Pharr, Edinburg and McAllen.
Photograph By MIRNA SAPALICIO
Featured: Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortéz, left, and Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, flash the famous Texas Longhorns “Hook ’em” sign on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 during a photo session soon after Cortéz took his oath of office during a ceremony held in the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court room, located on the 1st floor, at 100 E. Cano Street.
Photograph Courtesy JULIA SULLIVAN
Featured, from left: Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen during the Tuesday, December 4, 2018 public meeting of the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court was among federal, state, county and local leaders to pay homage to Hidalgo County Commissioner Precinct 4 Joseph Palacios for Palacios’ two four-year terms in that office. On January 1, 2019, Ellie Torres of Edinburg will succeed Palacios as the new county commissioner.
Photograph By EVANA VLECK
Featured: First row, from left: Martin V. “Marty” Baylor, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-McAllen; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; former Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, Vice President for Government and Community Relations, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Elva Jackson Garza, Vice President and Marketing & Business Development Manager, Edwards Abstract & Title Company; Lucy G. Canales, Partner, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson LLP; Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission; Alex Ríos, District Director, Rep. Terry Canales; and Robert McGurk, Senior Vice President, Elsa State Bank & Trust Company. Back row, from left: Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider; Jacob De León, Funeral Director, Memorial Funeral Home; Edinburg City Councilmember David Torres; and Michael Williamson, Market President, PlainsCapital Bank. This portrait was taken at the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce’s Public Affairs Legislative Luncheon held on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at the ECHO Hotel and Conference Center.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
Chalk up Hidalgo County as the first region in Texas that allows attorneys in all criminal cases to file pleadings and documents electronically – known as e-filing – as a result of a state law passed two years ago by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, which will continue to bring the state’s court system into the paperless generation. Effective Tuesday, September 1, the eyes of the state judicial system began looking at the use of e-filing in criminal cases in Hidalgo County, as the rest of the Texas prepares to follow Hidalgo County’s lead beginning on November 1 in implementing a new system designed to improve justice for all. Canales is confident that his measure – House Bill 349, which was sponsored by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, two years ago – will be a resounding success. HB 349 is designed to improve the delivery of justice in Hidalgo County, reduce costs to county taxpayers, attorneys and litigants, and take advantage of the latest technological advances in the state’s legal system, the House District 40 lawmaker contends. “Courts have long been burdened with processing paper, a problem that continues to grow exponentially and largely unabated,” said Canales. “After more than 167 years of processing traditional filing, Texas Court Clerks are awash in the state’s judicial paper trail. Electronic filing offers a means to stem the paper tide.” Hinojosa, citing data provided by the Office of the Hidalgo County District Clerk, reported that in 2014, there were 5,170 criminal cases filed, in addition to 19,341 civil and family cases. “One of the key advantages of the e-filing system, both in civil and criminal cases, is it allows attorneys more time during the day to submit their motions, rather than face a 5 p.m. deadline,” the state senator explained. “The statewide e-filing portal (efiletexas.gov) allows filers to file documents until midnight during regular business days in both civil and criminal cases. As a result, attorneys have more flexibility and are no longer rushed to file documents at the courthouse before closing hour at 5 p.m.” There would be no cost to the county government to use the e-filing system for civil or criminal cases, and there would be no cost to litigants who are too poor to pay for the service, Canales added. Later this fall, Hidalgo County District Clerk Laura Hinojosa (no relation to Sen. Hinojosa) will organize a question-and-answer session for the area’s attorneys to help them better understand the e-filing system for criminal cases. The details of that event will soon be announced by District Clerk Hinojosa. Also under the new state law, Hidalgo County can still allow traditional paper filing as well. Canales predicts that the future is at hand. ‘The era of big paper is over,” Canales said. According to dictionary.law.com, a motion is a formal request made to a judge for an order or judgment. Motions are made in court all the time for many purposes: to continue (postpone) a trial to a later date, to get a modification of an order, for temporary child support, for a judgment, for dismissal of the opposing party’s case, for a rehearing, for sanctions (payment of the moving party’s costs or attorney’s fees), or for dozens of other purposes. Most motions require a written petition, a written brief of legal reasons for granting the motion (often called “points and authorities”), written notice to the attorney for the opposing party and a hearing before a judge. However, during a trial or a hearing, an oral motion may be permitted