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Texas: Jury Trial vs. Final Hearing in front of a Judge

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#1 AugMir



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Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:05 AM

In Texas:

A custody dispute/modification to get custody of a child where the case involves an outcry of sexual abuse by the child and an open investigation is documented with the DA's office but no charges have been filed yet on the alleged perpetrator.  Due to the open investigation with Law Enforcement, a family court Judge ordered a permanent injunction against mother NOT TO ALLOW alleged perpetrator around child unsupervised.  Since that order, child's mother has married alleged perpetrator and is now seeking to lift/remove permanent injunction as well as remove geographical restriction on where child is to live so that she can move with child to live with now husband (alleged perpetrator).  NOTE:  Investigation still remains open.


Although knowing that nothing is guaranteed with a potential outcome on the ruling, what are the pros and cons of litigating this type of case in front of a Jury vs. a Judge?  


My question is presented assuming that some of you may have had some experience with these type of cases and seen the outcome when litigated via both methods.


I have heard that a hearing before a Judge you only have to worry about convincing one person vs. several people when done before a jury.

#2 Fallen


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Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:24 AM

This is a question you really ought to ask counsel who has particular knowledge of a given county's judges and juries.  A general answer won't do you any good.  I also wouldn't presume as a procedural matter that a jury trial is still possible (you haven't provided much in the way of particulars).


 If a judge ordered that the person be kept away from the child pending outcome of investigation, I don't see that or another family court judge being at all kindly disposed toward a mother who decided to circumvent by marrying the person.  (I hope this person didn't tell her that she wouldn't have to testify against him if a case were pursued, because I suspect that the spousal privilege wouldn't apply as to events that took place before marriage.)

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)

#3 BrianWalters96


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Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:39 AM

The biggest issue is the complexity and cost of a Jury Trial.

#4 AugMir



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:50 PM

Thank you both.  A Jury trial has been granted and set.  I've heard that one pro to going before a judge vs. a jury is that you only have to convince one person.  However, I've also heard that a judge is trained to look at a case objectively whereas with a jury there is a higher chance they will be driven by emotion and personal feelings toward the issues presented.  


I don't think there should be any expense too great to keep anyone from aggressively pursuing to secure the safety of his/her child and the child's best interest.  

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