DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dozens of Dallas County Constable Deputies are accused of not serving papers when they said they did and lying to judges about it.
Some 25 deputies are accused of swearing that they tried to serve eviction notices when they actually didn’t. The law requires a deputy to try two times to serve an eviction notice.
‘They can [then] go to a judge, with a sworn affidavit that they’ve made three attempts, and they can get an order for substitute service,” explained Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
That ‘substitute service’ order means the occupant can simply be handed a summons and complaint at the time of eviction.
“It’s possible that the first time you and your family would find out about your eviction is when they literally came to put you out on the street,” said Judge Jenkins.
Officials say the incidents weren’t isolated and deputies in all five Dallas constable precincts have been implicated.
The investigation into the alleged illegal evictions was initiated by chance. “This began with an audit of GPS data, and comparing that against other information to see if sworn peace officers were where they said they were at certain times,” explained Judge Jenkins.
Judge Jenkins says the county will be handing over its investigation to Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkin’s office for a criminal investigation.