The Field Review - Local

Prior Kyle Police Association President to Have Hearing to Vacate Arbitration Award

On May 31, 2018, Jesse Espinoza, a prior Kyle Police Association President, filed a petition to have the arbitration award granted to the City of Kyle, vacated.

Initially, the prior Kyle Police Association President was separated from the City of Kyle due to a 2015 investigation, which was connected to a filed lawsuit on the City of Kyle. As the arbitration process played out, the prior Kyle Police Association President was separated from the City of Kyle due to “insubordination and untruthfulness,” in 2018.

The prior Kyle Police Association President’s petition to vacate the arbitration award was filed in Hays County District Court and given cause 18-1282. On February 7, 2022, a request for citation and issuance of process was made. The City of Kyle was formally served this lawsuit on February 15, 2022.

The interesting thing about this matter is the statute of limitations seems to be preserved by the lawsuit never being dismissed due to “want of prosecution.” This, essentially, means the filed case may still be within the statute of limitations to attempt to vacate the arbitration award; unless there is some other date between the date of final decision of arbitration and the date the case was filed in 2018 that has passed.

Currently, a hearing is set for May 25, 2022. The hearing is scheduled because the City of Kyle is requesting the matter be dismissed.

What is interesting is the City of Kyle filed a late amended answer. Most recently, on May 19, 2022, the City of Kyle filed its second amended answer and plea to jurisdiction. The hearing is scheduled for less than a week away from the last filed document.

The City of Kyle is claiming the lawsuit to dispute the arbitration award was filed on February 15, 2022; however, the court records indicate the lawsuit was filed on May 31, 2018. The lawsuit went unserved until 2022.

Essentially, the brief submitted by the City of Kyle states the following defenses to the prior Kyle Police Association President claims:

  • General denial
  • Espinoza has failed to state a claim that would entitle relief from the court.
  • Espinoza claims are barred by statute of limitations, res judicate, equitable estoppel, collateral estoppel, and laches.
  • The Court lacks subject matter juridiction over the claims due to the immunity stance of the City of Kyle.
  • Espinoza has no live case or controversy between him and the City of Kyle.

It will be interesting if the Court determines the cases statute of limitations was preserved by the unserved lawsuit. If it does, this means Espinoza may have filed his appeal to the District Court within the appropriate window after an arbitration award was granted.

Another matter with a similar theme may be one of our publishings on the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement (TCOLE) where individuals do not have properly issued peace officer licenses, but are still policing today.

Or, you may find our publishing on a prior Hays County Sheriff Deputy who surrendered his license over his employment with Amazon, of interest. He was also a prior union president.

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing in this article or this website is to be taken as legal advice, nor is it to supplement legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney.