Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin
THE 200TH DISTRICT COURT OF TRAVIS COUNTY NO.
D-1-FM-10-003078, THE HONORABLE TIM SULAK, JUDGE PRESIDING
Chief Justice Rose, Justices Kelly and Smith
L. Kelly, Justice
K Stokes, a licensed attorney representing herself, appeals
from the trial court's order modifying her parent-child
relationship with her daughter, E.R.C. In her sole appellate
issue, Stokes contends that the challenged order is void
because the trial judge was constitutionally
disqualified. We will affirm the trial court's
Texas Constitution provides that '[n]o judge shall sit in
any case wherein the judge may be interested.'"
Freedom Commc'ns, Inc. v. Coronado, 372 S.W.3d
621, 624 (Tex. 2012) (per curiam) (quoting Tex. Const. art.
V, § 11). "A judge is 'interested' in a
case-and thus disqualified under Article V, Section 11-if an
order or judgment in the case will directly 'affect him
to his personal or pecuniary loss or gain.'"
Id. (quoting Elliott v. Scott, 25 S.W.2d
150, 152 (Tex. 1930)). "The interest must be direct and
immediate, and not contingent, remote, or speculative."
Roach v. Ingram, 557 S.W.3d 203, 215 (Tex.
App-Houston [14th Dist] 2018, pet. denied).
"Discretionary judicial acts by a disqualified judge are
void." Coronado, 372 S.W.3d at 624. "Thus,
the disqualification of a judge is a jurisdictional issue
that cannot be waived." Id. "Whether a
judge is disqualified is a question of law that we generally
review de novo." Fuelberg v. State, 410 S.W.3d
498, 503 (Tex. App-Austin 2013, no pet.).
argues that the trial judge was disqualified because of
The evidence of undisclosed payments of large sums of money
(totaling $150, 000) by Mr. Corsbie to his attorneys during
the underlying proceedings along with evidence of undisclosed
involvement by Judge Tim Sulak in the pretrial proceedings
from 2014 through July of 2015 is sufficient to conclude that
the case is tainted by bribery. See Tx. Penal Code
Sec. 36.02. At this juncture, no other plausible explanation
exists for the ongoing abuses against Ms. Stokes by Judge Tim
Sulak. The abuses are so egregious and so devastating to the
welfare of the innocent child involved that significant
criminal liability having been incurred by the judge
presiding is the only explanation that makes sense.
Evidence of an undisclosed payment of a large sum of money
brought to the attention of the judge and subsequently
ignored is sufficient to support a finding that the judge is
"interested" in the case, because a failure to
investigate and remediate evidence of criminal activity
affecting the proceedings brings upon the judge criminal
liability in and of itself. Tx. Penal Code § 7.02(a). As
such, Judge Sulak has incurred criminal liability for failing
to investigate and remediate the undisclosed payments, even
if the evidence is not sufficient to conclude that Judge
Sulak personally received any of the undisclosed money.
connection with these allegations, Stokes asserts the
• "Ms. Stokes has lived for many years under the
duress of death threats, rape threats, and pervasive
harassment while being maligned mercilessly by Mr. Corsbie,
his family, his legal team, and anyone else that Mr. Corsbie
could corral to bully up on Ms. Stokes."
• "At the end of what has become a nearly ten-year
ordeal, it is now clear that Mr. Corsbie sexually assaulted
Ms. Stokes to impregnate her and then embarked upon a
criminal course of conduct to gain control of the
• "Because of Mr. Corsbie's association with
foreign nationals and because of Ms. Stokes' security
clearance background, his conduct will eventually need to be
investigated as a war crime in a different forum. Multiple
appeals are currently pending in the federal court system
that deal with the bulk of Mr. Corsbie's conduct."
• "At a pre-trial hearing on July 17, 2015, Judge
Timothy Sulak suspended Appellant's due process rights
and turned over summaries of Appellant's medical records
. . . . Prior to this hearing, there was no indication that
Judge Sulak was involved in the case, and Ms. Stokes did not
receive any notice of assignment for this case in 2014 or
• "On July 21, 2015, Sam Bassett requested $50,
000 in attorney's fees for his work ...