Can a Bailiff Speak to Judges About Inappropriate Conduct ?
In Dallas v. Moreau, 697 S.W.2d 472 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1985, no writ), a bailiff spoke with various other bailiffs and judges about judicial conduct that he believed was inappropriate. See id. at 475.
The court held that none of these people was an appropriate authority as a matter of law because, inter alia, none of them was in a supervisory position vis-a-vis the judge. See id.
But the Moreau court explicitly limited its ruling to the facts in that case. See id.
In addition, the fact that the bailiffs and judges worked within the judiciary is an important distinction.
The judicial branch does not perform an investigative or executive function.
The Sheriff's Department, on the other hand, is a part of the executive branch and is charged with investigating and enforcing the laws of the State. See Ex parte Hall, 838 S.W.2d 674, 676 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1992, no writ) (Sheriff is member of executive branch); Woomer v. City of Galveston, 765 S.W.2d 836, 839 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1988, writ denied) (Sheriff's Department has duty to investigate).
The Moreau court stated that Moreau also spoke with members of the city attorney's staff.
Although the opinion does not explicitly say so, we can only assume that these staff members did not have the power to bring charges against the judge.
Otherwise, the court's conclusion that the city attorney's staff members were not "appropriate" directly contradicts its reasoning that "appropriate" includes having "the power to arrest, prosecute or otherwise discipline on account of an alleged violation being reported." City of Dallas v. Moreau, 697 S.W.2d 472, 474 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1985, no writ).