Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
the 227th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2015CR2022 Honorable Pat Priest, Judge Presiding
a contempt proceeding ancillary to appeal number
04-16-00615-CR, styled Chima Okorie v. The State of
Texas, currently pending in this court. The
reporter's record in this appeal was originally due
November 7, 2016. There were three reporters responsible for
different portions of the record in this case. Bettina J.
Williams filed her portion of the record on October 12, 2016,
and Roxanne Pena filed her portion of the record on November
8, 2016. Reporter Lisa Ramos did not file her portion of the
record by November 7, 2016. We notified Ms. Ramos by letter
regarding her failure to file the reporter's record. Our
notice required Ms. Ramos to file the record no later than
December 15, 2016, unless appellant had failed to pay or make
arrangements to pay the fee for preparing the record and is
not entitled to appeal without paying the fee, in which case
Ms. Ramos was required to file a notice so advising the court
no later than November 28, 2016. We received no response from
on December 30, 2016, we ordered Ms. Ramos to file her
portion of the record in this court on or before January 30,
2017. Ms. Ramos was advised that if the record was not
received by the date set forth in the order, we might order
her to appear and show cause why she should not be held in
contempt. Ms. Ramos was further advised that no extensions of
time would be granted absent written proof of extraordinary
circumstances. Ms. Ramos filed neither the reporter's
record nor any other response to our order.
clerk's office of this court attempted to contact Ms.
Ramos by telephone on January 31, 2017, but could not reach
her. Voicemails were left for Ms. Ramos at two separate
numbers, advising that it was "imperative" that Ms.
Ramos contact the court. When she did not respond, the
clerk's office sent Ms. Ramos an email, again asking that
she immediately contact the court. On February 1, 2017, Ms.
Ramos replied to this court by email, advising she had not
completed the record because she has "been diagnosed
with a condition which I would rather not disclose via email
which is making it difficult to complete the record."
She stated her intent to employ an attorney to speak to the
court on her behalf. She further stated she intended "on
filing the record as soon as possible, " perhaps within
the next thirty days.
February 2, 2017, after reviewing Ms. Ramos's email and
based on her representations therein, we ordered her to file
her portion of the record in this court on or before March 6,
2017. We again advised Ms. Ramos that if the record was not
received by this date, we might order her to appear and show
cause why she should not be held in contempt. She was further
advised that no extensions of time would be granted absent
written proof of extraordinary circumstances. Finally, we
advised Ms. Ramos that in the event she could not complete
the record by the date ordered, she should contact the court
in writing. Once again, Ms. Ramos failed to comply with this
March 8, 2017, the clerk of this court contacted Ms. Ramos by
telephone and email regarding the status of the record. This
time, Ms. Ramos advised that she had not completed the record
because she had not yet received the renewal of her
reporter's certification, precluding her from filing
either the record or a notification of late record. This
court contacted the certification body and learned Ms.
Ramos's recertification was complete effective February
27, 2017. The clerk of this court contacted Ms. Ramos,
advised her of the results of our inquiry, and requested that
she immediately file a notification of late record. Ms. Ramos
advised the clerk of this court that she had not checked the
certifying body's public website regarding her
certification because she was busy studying for and taking
mid-term exams. Ms. Ramos did not file a notification of late
record until Monday, March 13, 2017.
March 13, 2017 notification of late record, Ms. Ramos asked
this court to grant her yet another extension of time to file
the record. She asked that we extend the time to file the
record to Saturday, March 25, 2017. In support of her
request, she stated she was unable to work on her portion of
the record because of "several medical problems"
and her failure to "renew [her] CSR license
timely." She stated her license has now been reinstated,
she is able to devote more time to completing the record, and
that she has engaged the services of a scopist.
on Ms. Ramos's representations, we granted her another
extension of time to file the reporter's record. We
ordered her to file the record in this court on or before
March 25, 2017 - the date requested in her latest
notification of late record. We again advised Ms. Ramos that
if the record was not received by the date ordered, we might
order her to appear and show cause why she should not be held
in contempt. We further advised her that no further
extensions of time would be granted. This order was served on
Ms. Ramos by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by
first class United States mail. Ms. Ramos did not file the
reporter's record nor did she contact this court.
Monday, March 27, 2017, the clerk's office of this court
contacted Ms. Ramos by email, inquiring about the status of
the record and reminding her that pursuant to our order of
March 17, 2017, the record was due in this court on March 25,
2017. Ms. Ramos responded by email as follows:
Unfortunately, my scopist contracted the flu last week. She
believes she will have her portion of the record on Okorie
done by Thursday. I will then have to index it of course. Her
portion is the Voir Dire and a pretrial motion. And hopefully
file it via Tames Portal. The rest of the record is being
indexed as I type this email. I have hired an additional
scopist to help with the remaining records I have pending so
hopefully this will not happen again. Please understand I am
a full-time student at UTSA and I have been skipping classes
in order to work on these records, which is substantially
impacting my grades. I am not ignoring the responsibility.
This deadline got by me because I actually believed it was
due this Friday. So ultimately, I understand this is my
result, on March 29, 2017, we ordered court reporter Lisa
Ramos to appear in the courtroom of the Fourth Court of
Appeals, 300 Dolorosa, Suite 3200, San Antonio, Texas 78205,
on April 18, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. before a panel consisting of
Justice Barnard, Justice Martinez, and Justice Alvarez to
1. why she should not be held in criminal contempt and civil
contempt of this court for violating this court's March
17, 2017 order by failing to file the reporter's record
no later than March 25, 2017; and
2. why she should not be sanctioned.
order advised Ms. Ramos that she has the right to be
represented by counsel at the show cause hearing and the
proceedings will be recorded by a certified court reporter.
The court's order was personally served on Ms. Ramos by
Deputy Jesus Gonzales, #729 on March 31, 2017, at 9:53 a.m.
Prior to the ...