Skip to Content
Dick Law Firm, PLLC Dick Law Firm, PLLC
Call Us Today! 833-774-4487

TX Supreme Court Likely to Give Ruling on Houston Misworded Ballot Lawsuit


The November 2015 voting cycle in Houston included one ballot result that surprised many: the decision to extend the term limits of city officials from three two-year terms to two four-year terms. The result was so unexpected, it immediately raised controversy, eyebrows, and the question, “Did the voters of the City of Houston actually mean to extend term limits, or did they not understand the ramifications of the measure?” An ongoing lawsuit alleges confusing language on the ballot was used intentionally by Houston City Council, which drafted the measure, to mislead voters.

Making Sense of a Complicated Case

The lawsuit against the City of Houston was first tried by the Honorable Randy Clapp of Wharton County. After reviewing the lawsuit’s allegations and evidence, including the language of the ballot measure, Clapp decided the wording was difficult. After denying the City’s attempt to have the case dismissed entirely but claiming the Texas Supreme Court should handle it, he granted both Philip Paul Bryant and his lawyer, Attorney Eric Dick of Dick Law Firm in Houston, the opportunity to appeal.

Attorney Dick and Bryant did appeal, but so did the City of Houston, which argued Clapp did not have the proper jurisdiction to try the case. The 1st Court of Appeals of Harris County has recently furthered this ongoing case by ruling that Clapp did, indeed, have the right jurisdiction. Further resistance from the City and former-mayor Annise Parker, who is also on the other side of the lawsuit opposite Bryant, is expected, which will likely push it soon to the Texas Supreme Court. It should be noted that the 1st Court of Appeals did not make a ruling in regards to the facts presented in the case, only on whether or not it had merit and that Clapp had the right jurisdiction.

It is also interesting to note that this ongoing case is not the first of its kind, or the first in recent history. In 2015, there were two separate cases settled by the Texas Supreme Court that ruled the Annise Parker administration used intentionally misleading ballot language in an attempt to illegitimately win voter favor.

For more information regarding this case, or to retain the legal services of Dick Law Firm and our Houston bad faith attorney, contact us online or call 844-HIRE-A-DICK.