Marion County Legal Notice Policy Produces Confusion, Risk

Marion County DAAn election judge during Tuesday’s Constitutional Amendment Election reported voters confused about where they should vote. One couple went to at least three places trying to find a poll.

No one should be surprised. Marion County Commissioners ordered the notice announcing which polls would be open run in the Marshall News Messenger rather than in the Jefferson Jimplecute.

We wonder what Harrison County residents thought when they read a legal notice telling them where to vote in Marion County.

You already know the Marion County Commissioners made this retaliatory reprisal against the Jimplecute for demanding documents that the public is entitled to view and investigative reports about the Sheriff’s Department based on the fallacious argument that an e-Edition is not a publication.

Legal notices in the Marshall News Messenger are an expensive proposition for both county government and residents.

A one-year subscription to the Marshall News Messenger, if a Marion County citizen wanted to read Marion County legal notices, costs approximately $180 per year and can even cost up to $240 if you only want to read the daily print edition. A full year subscription to the Jimplecute costs only $30 in Marion County.

Responding to a Texas Public Information Act request, County Auditor Shanna Solomon provided documents showing Marion County spent $1,429.34 in October for legal advertising in the Marshall News Messenger. The same notices would have cost $490 in the Jimplecute. That is a waste of almost $1,000.

Don R. Richards, an award-winning journalist, cum laude graduate of Texas Tech Law School and Associate Editor of the Law Review, pointed out to Marion County leaders that the Marshall News Messenger does not meet the requirements of Texas law for Marion County legal notices.

Richards who is board certified in Administrative Law represents the Jimplecute in the matter of Marion County’s failure to recognize the Jimplecute as the county’s newspaper of record.

Richards has issued a demand letter to Marion County asking commissioners to “meet the express requirements of Texas Law.” The letter advises commissioners that the only way to follow the law is to “select the Jefferson Jimplecute for publication of the county’s required legal notices.”

Marion County has continued to publish legal notices in the Marshall News Messenger after the Nov. 1 date Richards set in the Jimplecute’s demand letter. Further legal action will follow.

The Jimplecute may not be the only ones requiring legal remedy for these misplaced notices.

“I am stunned,” a caller to the Jimplecute said this week after being told the county’s tax sale notices were being printed in Marshall. “Has anyone sued the county to delay the sale because of improper notice?”

The caller described himself as a “long-term land buyer” at the county’s tax sales. He plans to investigate further.

Marion County Commissioners should immediately recognize they have made a mistake that costs taxpayers money and places the results of tax sales and other notices in jeopardy. The notices must be run in the Jimplecute to be legally binding.

Every notice printed in the Marshall News Messenger and not in the Jimplecute digs the hole county commissioners are in a little deeper. A smart man would stop digging.





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One thought on “Marion County Legal Notice Policy Produces Confusion, Risk

  1. Where to vote has been a problem for a few years. I had some people that had traveled 65 miles to vote at a location a half a mile from their home. Thanks to Bob Palmet for posting the amendments.

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