A Texas judge ruled Tuesday that state Attorney General Ken Paxton does not have to appear at a hearing in an abortion access case after an affidavit said he ran twice from the person who served him with a subpoena related to the case.
The subpoena was part of a lawsuit filed in August by several abortion funds and a private abortion provider seeking to block Texas authorities from under Texas’ abortion ban. Overturned.
The affidavit states that two subpoenas were served on Paxton, one under the title of his professional attorney and another addressed to him personally.
Paxton’s office filed a motion to quash the subpoenas, saying they were improper and not effectively served. According to the motion, Paxton refused to engage a man who tried to serve him at his home Monday morning. On Tuesday, a Texas judge granted Paxton’s request to quash and seal the subpoena to appear at the hearing.
According to the motion, obtained by CNN, “top executives should not be called to testify in non-extreme circumstances,” adding that the “entire reason” he was named as a defendant was because he was a high-ranking government official. The motion also notes that Paxton, as an individual, has no information relevant to the plaintiff’s claims.
On Monday morning, Ernesto Martin Herrera served the subpoenas to Paxton at his home, the affidavit states. Herrera knocked on the front door and a woman opened it, where she shared that she was there to give Paxton important legal documents, the affidavit continues. Paxton was on the phone and he was leaving in a hurry, so Herrera left his card and sat in the car to wait.
About an hour later, a car pulled into the home’s garage and Paxton got out of the vehicle, the affidavit states.
“I walked up the aisle approaching Mr. Paxton and called him by his name,” the affidavit states. “When he saw me and heard me call his name, he turned and ran into the house through the same door as the garage.”
Later, his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, started the truck, according to the affidavit. Moments later Ken Paxton ran out the door and into the car, trying to avoid Herrera, the affidavit states. Herrera said he yelled Paxton’s name again, saying he had legal documents, but Paxton continued toward the truck.
When Herrera decided Paxton wasn’t going to take the subpoenas out of his hands, he yelled at Paxton to serve him with the legal documents and dropped them on the floor, the affidavit states.
Paxton got into the truck and left the documents on the floor, Herrera said in the affidavit.
Paxton responded to the accusation in two tweets from her verified account, saying she was being attacked for trying to “avoid a stranger staying outside my house.”
“This is a ridiculous waste of time and the media should be ashamed of themselves,” read the first tweet. “Across the country, conservatives have faced threats to their safety — many threats that have received scant coverage or condemnation from the mainstream media.”
“It is clear that the media wants to ramp up another controversy related to my work as Attorney General, so they are attacking me to prevent a stranger from staying outside my home and caring about the safety and well-being of my family. ” said a second tweet.
In granting Paxton’s request to quash the subpoena, Judge Robert Pittman also granted Paxton’s emergency request to seal the documents.
“Plaintiff’s actions posed a serious security risk to Paxton” because the process server was “unidentified” and “roamed around the Attorney General’s home for over an hour, repeatedly yelling at him and berating both the Attorney General and his wife, a senator in the Texas Legislature,” according to the motion. . Fearing for her safety, she “refused to engage with the strange man who was lurking outside her home and repeatedly yelling at her,” the motion said.
CNN has reached out to State Senator Angela Paxton’s office for comment.
This story has been updated with additional details.
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