David Yates Mar. 17, 2016, 1:24pm


BEAUMONT - A former district judge who had a process server arrested for allegedly disrupting his court is now being sued by the man who attempted to serve him.

Stephen Hartman filed suit against former 252nd District Judge Layne Walker, now an attorney at Provost Umphrey, on March 7 in Jefferson County District Court.

As previously reported, on Nov. 23, 2013, local blogger and investigator Philip Klein sued Walker after the he had one of Klein’s employee’s arrested. The Klein employee, Hartman, had attempted to serve the former judge while he was holding court.

However, according to Hartman’s lawsuit, he waited until the court was on a break and had asked a sheriff deputy to arrange to serve Walker first.

Furthermore, Hartman claims he was forced to try and serve Walker at the Beaumont courthouse because when he first tried to serve the former judge at his home, Walker brandished a gun and his son chest-bumped him.

The suit names a plethora of defendants aside from Walker, including Sheriff Mitch Woods and former Assistant District Attorney Tom Rugg.

In all, more than two-dozen defendants are named in the lawsuit. Hartman seeks to collect up to $2 million in damages from each defendant.

Beaumont attorney John S. Morgan represents him.

In August, the Commission for Lawyer Discipline filed a disciplinary petition against John Morgan, seeking to possibly disbar the Beaumont attorney for making false accusations that several members of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office smoke marijuana.

Judge Kent Walston, 58th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. A-198246

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