City Hall

Federal Judge Dismisses Cyclist's Suit Against City, State Over Dallas's Helmet Laws

Back in June, Patrick told you about Paul Woodfield, the Southwest Airlines dispatcher who's been engaged in a lengthy legal battle with the city over its bike-helmet ordinance -- which Woodfield insists isn't enforceable, since it doesn't jibe with any existing state law. Woodfield, who's been ticketed more than once for riding his bike without a helmet, took his case to federal court in two months ago, filing suit against not only the city, but also Dallas County and the State of Texas.

But this week, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis granted the state's motions to dismiss ("The Dallas city ordinance in question ... does not specifically task the Attorney General or the state of Texas with upholding Dallas's bike helmet law") and the city's motion to abstain (because "the City is currently prosecuting Plaintiff in Dallas municipal court for violating the Ordinance"). Patrick will follow later with a chat with Woodfield, who's representing himself. Till then, both orders follow.

Court Order 1 in Woodfield v Dallas et al
Order in Woodfield v Dallas 2

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky