TRO stopping city from destroying records of NBA star's arrest extended

David Yates Apr. 5, 2012, 6:45am


Originally set to expire April 5, a temporary restraining order stopping the city of Beaumont from destroying records related to the arrest of NBA star Kendrick Perkins has been extended to April 19.

The Examiner newspaper and its editor, Jerry Jordan, sought and received the TRO on March 23, arguing that the city may to try to "cover up the incident" by destroying Perkins' arrest records.

An injunction hearing was slated for April 5, court records show.

However, the Examiner filed a motion to extend TRO and transfer case the day before, which was granted by Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, on April 4.

Judge Floyd ordered the case transferred to Judge Layne Walker's 252nd District Court and set the new injunction hearing for April 15.

No reason for the transfer is given in the motion other than that "so justice can be done."

Court records further show that the city answered the suit on April 4, claiming governmental immunity from the litigation.

Perkins also filed a plea of intervention April 4, asserting that his arrest record was expunged and that he will be irreparably harmed if the records are released.

Case background

On Aug. 13 Perkins, a Beaumont native and currently a center for the Oklahoma City Thunder, was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and public intoxication after an altercation at a Beaumont night club.

Court records show the charges were dropped on March 22.

After the arrest, The Examiner made a request to the city seeking videotapes and other evidence under the Texas Open Records Act, the petition states.

City officials refused, prompting The Examiner to turn to the Attorney General's Office, which overruled the city's objection on March 20.

On March 21, Perkins obtained an order of expunction, court records show.

Nevertheless, despite the Attorney General's directive, and even though the expunction is not final and subject to review or appeal, the city still refuses to release the items in question, the petition states.

"Because of the facts stated above, as well as other facts apparent from the public record and media reports showing that the city has engaged in repeated acts to cover up the incident in question and minimize the public's awareness ... plaintiff believes that the city may attempt to destroy the items in question," the petition states.

"Such destruction would constitute irreparable harm to plaintiff, who would be left without an adequate remedy at law."

In addition to the injunction, The Examiner is seeking an award of actual and punitive damages, plus attorney's fees.

The paper is represented by attorney John Werner of the Beaumont law firm Reaud, Morgan & Quinn.

Beaumont attorney Sean Villery-Samuel represents Perkins.

The city is represented by City Attorney Tyrone Cooper.

The Examiner was founded by Wayne Reaud, a managing partner at Reaud, Morgan & Quinn.

Case No. E192-213

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