Tarrant County’s district judges have been called to an emergency meeting on February 20 by Judge David Evans, allegedly to remove all cases involving Child Protective Services from the court of Judge Alex Kim.

Sources in Tarrant County claim this is retribution for Kim making CPS obey the law and also for saving the life of baby Tinslee Lewis.

In November 2019, Cook Children’s Medical Center decided to pull life-sustaining care from then-9-month-old Tinslee Lewis under Texas’ controversial 10-day-rule. The hospital gave only a vague “quality-of-life” reason for the decision.

Her life was temporarily spared when Judge Alex Kim of the 323rd Family District Court approved a temporary restraining order on the day she was scheduled to die.

Cook’s lawyers launched a series of draconian subpoenas in an attempt to frame Kim as being partial and force him into recusal.

He was ultimately kicked off the case by Judge David Peeples of Bexar County, who was assigned by Tarrant Judge David Evans to determine if Kim should be recused or not. Judge Evans—an appointee of former Gov. Rick Perry—is responsible for overseeing all of the judges in Tarrant County.

Last December, Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a joint statement promising legal support for Tinslee and her fight for life.

Sources in Tarrant County have alleged that Cook Children’s is furious with Kim—as are Child Protective Services and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Tarrant County—for his ruling in the case, which helped keep Tinslee alive as her family and Texas Right to Life continue to fight for her.

Texas Scorecard recently obtained an email apparently sent to all district judges of Tarrant County, calling for an emergency meeting on February 20—next Thursday—to discuss “the reallocation with adequate support” of CPS cases.

Judge Kim’s court hears all unassigned CPS cases in Tarrant County—those not part of cases already involving a judge, such as divorce cases.

The date when the email was sent is unknown. Multiple sources have said Judge Evans—alleged to have ties to Cook Children’s and CPS—called the meeting and raised the point of reassigning CPS cases from Kim.

Texas Scorecard reached out to all of the district judges who will be voting on February 20. Not all were available for immediate comment.

Judge Patricia Baca Bennett confirmed to Texas Scorecard the decision will be on whether or not to reassign CPS cases from Kim’s court but disputed the reason for it. She said there is concern about Kim’s caseload.

Judge Melody Wilkinson wrote to Texas Scorecard: “As of right now, I have not yet seen the agenda nor believe it has been posted. I will need to listen to the committee’s recommendation(s) and anticipated discussion that will likely follow before a decision is made regarding any vote in this matter.” Wilkinson added she hadn’t spoken to CPS, CASA, or Cook Children’s.

Judge Jesse Nevarez said he “could not answer” what the reasoning is for the move to reassign the cases and did not know yet how he would vote “because I don’t know what’s going to be presented totally.” Nevarez hesitated before denying anyone from Cook Children’s, CASA, or CPS had spoken to him about the issue.

Judge Kenneth Newell cited “judicial ethics” as to why he could not discuss the matter.

Judge Kimberly Fitzpatrick said she was not aware of the situation.

The office of Judge David Evans replied that he “is not in a position to comment on that meeting just yet.”

Texas Scorecard is awaiting responses to inquiries sent to the rest of the judges who will be voting on this matter.

Concerned Tarrant County voters may attend the public meeting on February 20, at 12:15 pm, in the assembly room on the second floor of the Family Law Center at 200 E. Weatherford Street. Voters may also contact the district judges who will be voting on this matter.

This article has been updated since publication. 

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley: 817-884-1441; gwhitley@tarrantcounty.com
Judge David Evans: 817-884-2690
Judge John Chupp: 817-884-1992
Judge Don Cosby: 817-884-1452
Judge Wayne Salvant: 817-884-1347
Judge David Hagerman: 817-884-1908; hagermanforjudge2014@gmail.com
Judge Jesse Nevarez Jr.: 817-884-3796;  jesse@nevarezlaw.net
Judge Kenneth E. Newell: 817-884-1794; kenneth@kennethnewell.com
Judge James B. Munford: 817-884-1427
Judge Judith Wells: 817-884-1537;  judith@judgejudithwells.com
Judge Patricia Bennett: 817-884-2708
Judge Melody Wilkinson: 817-884-1460
Judge R.H. Wallace: 817-884-1452
Judge Jerry Hennigan: 817-884-1432
Judge Kimberly Fitzpatrick: 817-884-2710; Kfitzpatrick@tarrantcounty.com
Judge Josh Burgess: 817-884-2730; judge@judgejoshburgess.com
Judge Elizabeth Beach: 817-884-1351; ehbeach@tarrantcounty.com
Judge Robb Catalano: 817-884-1356; rcatalano@tarrantcounty.com
Judge Ruben Gonzalez: 817-884-2935
Judge Susan Heygood-McCoy: 817-884-2691; susan@mccoyforjudge.com
Judge Tom Lowe: 817-884-1709; tlowe@tarrantcounty.com
Judge Mike Thomas 817-884-1362
Judge Chris Wolfe: 817-884-1529
Judge Mollee Westfall: 817-884-2985
Judge Scott Wisch: 817-884-2990; swisch@tarrantcounty.com
Judge George Gallagher: 817-884-2765

This article has been updated since publication. 

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.