Same Judge, Same Pleas, within the Same Hour, but Different Rulings

On Tuesday morning, May 21, 2019 I sat in the Associate Court room for the 360th Family Court in Tarrant County.  Associate Judge Matt Riek was on the bench.

Judge Riek called a case, which was an Application for Protective Order filed by a mom against the dad.  The dad told Judge Riek he could not afford an attorney and asked if the court could appoint him one.

Judge Riek denied the dad’s request.

The father pleaded with the judge.  Judge Riek reset the date for a few weeks out and told the father he really needed to retain an attorney – even saying, “I will be very disappointed if you come back and don’t have an attorney” or words to that effect.

Twenty minutes later…

Judge Riek called another case, which was an Application for Protective Order filed by a mom against the dad.  The dad told Judge Riek he could not afford an attorney and asked if the court could appoint him one.

At this time, Cynthia Gustafson chimed in and told the judge that because the Application for PO involved taking away a right of the litigant that there was a federal statute governing that he should have an attorney appointed to him.

Judge Riek approved the dad’s request.

Same Judge, Same Pleas, within the SAME HOUR, but Different Rulings.

The 2nd dad did not present any evidence.  The 2nd dad did not make any claim that the 1st dad didn’t also make.

Same Judge, Same Pleas, within the SAME HOUR, but Different Rulings.

Judge Riek isn’t accountable to the public for his inconsistency and lack of knowledge because he isn’t elected.

(Update Oct 16, 2020: Judge Riek’s boss, Patricia Baca-Bennett IS elected and she has an opponent in the 2020 elections.  Michael Munoz is running against her.)

Any we may never know the identity of the 1st dad because I didn’t write down the Cause number –

— and there is no record of what happens in the associate court.

None.

2 thoughts on “Same Judge, Same Pleas, within the Same Hour, but Different Rulings”

  1. Yep. Very disappointing for Riek to be so inconsistent. This is why Associate Judges should not eliminated. It is a social justice experiment that has failed.

    We need more individuals to document and stand up. The only way to document in both cases is to audio and video in the Family Court courtrooms.
    Fair and balanced. No favorites. Every litigant gets justice according to our Constitution by a elected judge. Call your Congressman and demand Audio/Video recordings and eliminate the Associate Judge position. There is a resolution to the Republican Platform being presented to the State Party in July. They need to support it by writing a bill and pushing it at the House and Senate levels in 2021.

  2. As it so happens, I am well acquainted with Mr. Riek. There is no depth of dishonesty or inconsistency that would surprise me coming from that individual. He was a third rate lawyer before he became a third rate judge — which is an accomplishment in an area of law that is characterized by vagueness and indifference to what makes law anything more than arbitrary. In other words, he has found his professional home.

Comments are closed.