According to the rules of Texas civil procedure, Cooks must either recuse herself or refer the motion to the regional presiding judge within three business days of the filing.
A press release from an associate of the mother states that Cooks imposed a gag order on both parties because the publicity of the case was traumatizing for the child and family.
“Yet despite this recognition,” the release says, “the judge herself has posted links to news articles about the case on her social media accounts.”
The release claims that in addition to the posts on her public page, Cooks also shared an article about the case from the Dallas Morning News on her personal page, stating, “Here’s the truth! READ IT and THEN GO RUN TELL THAT!”
“The child has been exploited by the father, the media, and now radical politicians who are voicing opinions that are based on false information and clearly affecting the judge’s ability for impartiality,” says the release.
After the jury’s decision against the father, the case garnered national attention, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking out about it and the office of the Attorney General sending a letter to the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate the mother.
Georgulas’ motion for recusal rests on the grounds that “the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” If Cooks and the regional presiding judge do not see that the social media postings meet that standard or that she was influenced by the public nature of the case, the motion will likely be denied.
If Cooks does recuse herself, then a new judge will be appointed to oversee the case, which currently has a dismissal hearing date set for November 22.
In addition to the motion for recusal, the mother’s attorneys also filed a motion to conform to the jury verdict. Eleven of the twelve jurors decided before Cooks’ verdict that the current joint managing conservatorship of the children should become a sole managing conservatorship and that the father should not be the sole managing conservator.
The motion to conform argues, “[E]ven if the jury did not answer a question that Anne Georgulas should be appointed as the sole managing conservator, harmonizing the answers show that … Georgulas is the only other option for the Court to appoint as the sole managing conservator.”
In her findings, Cooks ruled that a joint managing conservatorship over the parents’ children would remain in place, since the mother had not requested a sole managing conservatorship.
She also granted the parents joint decision making over all medical, dental, and psychiatric care, and denied the mother’s request to require the father to affirm their son as a girl in public.
According to friends of Jeff Younger who run a Facebook page in support of him, James recently attended school as a boy for the first time. Previously, he had only attended his current school as a girl called by a female name.
If the motion to conform is denied, then the arrangement under Cooks’ verdict will continue for the foreseeable future.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.