Neel Lane

Attorney Neel Lane

When U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued his order that interim Commissioner of the Texas State Department of Health Services Kirk Cole issue an amended death certificate for James Stone-Hoskins to his husband John Stone-Hoskins, he used the word “immediately.”

“It is further ORDERED [Garcia’s emphasis, not mine] that Defendant Kirk Cole …immediately [my emphasis, not his] issue an amended death certificate for James H. Stone-Hoskins to state that John Allen Stone-Hoskins is the surviving spouse of James, and in doing so, fully recognize their legal out-of-state marriage.”

Neel Lane, attorney for Stone-Hoskins, answered a question via email to Dallas Voice. I asked whether the amended death certificate has been issued.

“We have been discussing, but nothing final yet,” Lane wrote, almost 24 hours after Judge Garcia wrote “immediately.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but when a federal judge says “immediately,” I’m thinking he means today. He means pull out the damn death certificate that’s already sitting on your desk and add “John Allen Stone-Hoskins” to the line that’s currently blank. Then send it FedEx because it absolutely, positively needs to get there before you’re sent to jail.

Cole and Attorney Ken Paxton have until Monday to send any written pleadings and responses to the court and must appear on Wednesday to defend themselves against contempt of court charges.

Seems to me by not issuing, they’re thumbing their noses at judge and begging to be held in contempt.