Cameron County Sheriff Eric Garza takes legal action against Commissioners Court

Cameron County Sheriff Eric Garza has filed a motion to dissolve a Temporary Restraining Order filed against him by the Cameron County Commissioners Court.

Garza has also filed a motion for an emergency hearing.

The Cameron County Commissioners Court last week filed a TRO against Garza alleging he is taking actions beyond his duties as sheriff.

The TRO was filed April 14 and the Commissioners Court Civil Legal Division said it had not choice but to file the suit because Garza acted outside the scope of his legal authority.

The order states that without authority Garza seized the court’s budget decisions and has disregarded the powers and authorities imposed by the Civil Service Regulations and unilaterally terminated a Memorandum of Understanding.

Garza disputes the orders and said he never agreed to sign and/or update the MOU.

In his motion requesting that the TRO be resolved, Garza said that:

  • Cameron County Commissioners Court neither pled, no asserted an cognizable claim that it or the residents of the County were in immediate danger of irreparable harm, which is required to entitle them to injunctive relief.
  • Courthouse security is within the elected Sheriff’s sphere of authority, in fact, it is considered a “core constitutional duty” that cannot be usurped by Commissioners Court
  • The MOU signed is not an enforceable contract and, therefore, the Sheriff my take control over the courthouse security whenever he so chooses, as such, the TRO signed  by this court both exceeds the authority of Commissioners Court and the MOU itself.
  • The TRO creates a dangerous situation and interferes with the Sheriff’s constitutional duties
  • The TRO is overbroad and does not maintain the “status quo,” it prohibits the duly Elected Sheriff and/or any of its agents or offices or attorneys, from communicating with its own Cameron County Commissioners Court or any of its staff, during the pendency of this lawsuit.

The emergency hearing will begin at 11:00 a.m. Friday, via Zoom, before 445th state District Judge Gloria Rincones.