April 25, 2015

Justice for Diane Tran

Editor’s Note: Updates are at “Justice for Diane Tran Update” and “Justice for Diane Tran Update 2″.

A story which is going viral and international is Diane Tran‘s. Without duplicating the now 1000s of news articles about her, I’ll tackle this story in 2 ways.

Some of the many many links:

  1. Texas honor student jailed for missing too much school – very short summary of it all
  2. Honour student who works two jobs to support her siblings after her parents split up and left town is put in JAIL for missing school due to exhaustion – how others view America
  3. 德州榮譽高中生陳黛安 缺課判坐牢 – in Chinese, if that helps anyone
  4. Honor student placed in jail for tardiness and truancy at school, People across the country offer help to honor student jailed for truancy – KHOU’s coverage which is regular and ongoing
  5. Overworked Texas Honor Student Jailed For Truancy By Overzealous Judge, honor student thrown in jail for missing school – 2 takes on the story with their unique voices

In case you’re too lazy to click, 11th grade, 17-year old Diane Tran is an honor student at Willis High School in Texas and works a full-time job, a part-time job and takes multiple AP (advanced placement) and dual credit college level courses. Her parents divorced and moved away without notice a few months ago and she tries to support her brother & Texas A&M and sister in another city. she couldn’t pay the fine. It’s possible she should have been notified of her right to an attorney but wasn’t. Local rules for Justice of the Peace cases in Fort Worth, Tarrant County says the accused is not entitled to a court-appointed attorney as a matter of law when charged with a fine-only offense. Local rules for Montgomery County Justice of the Peace courts state the same. Anyways, Judge Lanny Moriarty decided to put her in jail. She missed a final while she was in jail.

As Asians know, filial duty is one of our most important goals. This wayward judge needs to have his justice checked. Actions we can take:

  1. start an official fund for donations for her – the Louisana Children’s Education Alliance setup both Facebook Page and http://www.helpdianetran.com/ thus by neither the family nor Diane’s employer who’ve stated they’re exploring setting up their own fund after Thursday. Anedot’s founder has personally reached out to us to note that the LCEA will be handing over all donations minus the card processing fees to a trust fund being setup for Diane whose details are thusfar unknown. We’ve no update on how the such fund will be administered or disimbursed.
  2. Lanny Moriarty, Justice of the Peace (Precinct 1): Revoke the fine and sentencing of honors student Diane Tran – call for change to the laws to balance the aggravating and mitigating factors so the punishment fits the situation not make an example of one; you can even call the judge’s office at 936-788-8374; community service is a far more common punishment for this not jail time; justice of the peace thing in Texas needs to be more realistic.
  3. publicize this blog post on your Facebook

– Richard Chen


  1. A back says:

    Justice of the Peace, Lanny Moriarty – TEC Resolution – $2,800 Civil Fine

    Posted on May 11, 2009 at 1:29 pm. Tags: Campaign Finance Reports, Justice of the Peace, Resolution, TEC

    The file below contains the Texas Ethics Commission’s Order and Agreed Resolution for Montgomery County, Texas, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace, Lanny Moriarty.

    This so-called judge seems to not be so law abiding himself

    JP Moriarty agreed to pay a $2,800 civil fine for various alleged mistakes made on campaign finance reports.

    Some of the alleged mistakes listed included receiving contributions from corporations.

    Additional alleged mistakes included failure to file timely and complete campaign finance reports.

    • Robert McGuire says:

      This JP isn’t worthy to preside over this outstanding young LADY. He worked for HPD for 21 years as a street cop and I wonder if he was angered or passed over by an Asian officer and this is his revenge. We know he has no ETHICS, the State of Texas TEC has shown this. One day this young lady shall have an outstanding college education and may sit in judgement of her fellow man with a Greater Moral Compass and Insight than this delusional primate. I am sorry that she having to deal with stress along all the other stressors she has to deal with at her young age.GOD BLESS.

  2. Paul Dietzel says:

    Hi Richard,
    Wanted to reach out to you to let you know that the HelpDianeTran.com website has been verified and the funds will all be going to a bank account setup by Diane’s generous employer in Houston where Diane will have access to the funds. If you or anyone has questions, I urge them to contact (504) 222-2920.

    • Jay D says:

      Paul, if this site has been verified, then please state by whom. You sent me a message after banning me from your HelpDianeTran site because I questioned it’s intentions and veracity. You sir run that site and you refuse to state who has verified it other than by your own statments. You lack transparancy and I believ your site was designed to enrich yourself at the expense of the young lady. So, unless you stop banning people from your site, stop removing posts that question your veracity, then you make it painfully obvious that you are running a scam. I have contacte the U.S. Secret Service about your site. Good luck.

  3. Kenneth Fish says:

    Any person at risk of losing liberty (i.e. being placed in custody or jail) is entitled to representation. Similar cases in Texas in 2008 resulted in disciplinary actions against the judges:

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    By Tommy Witherspoon

    Tribune-Herald staff writer

    If you were a 17-year-old truant jailed for contempt of court by McLennan County Precinct 7 Justice of the Peace Jean Laster in the past nine years, by her own admission your civil rights were violated.

    Laster told McLennan County commissioners Tuesday that she feared she might be admonished by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, like a Grayson County justice of the peace recently was, for not telling 17-year-old truants that they had a right to legal counsel before being sent to jail.

    Judge Gregory Middents, of Sherman, Texas, was given a public admonition in February and ordered to take additional training on serving as a justice of the peace after the commission found he had not informed a 17-year-old of her right to counsel before she was sent to jail, and for other issues.

    Laster asked for the local matter to be placed on the commissioners’ court agenda to seek clarification about whether her office has access to funds for court-appointed attorneys should a repeat truancy defendant ask for one.

    McLennan County Judge Jim Lewis told Laster that the county has budgeted “a big pot of money” for court-appointed attorneys. That includes funds for truants in justice court who are eligible for court-appointed attorneys.

    More specifically, the county has budgeted $4.1 million in the current fiscal year, the bulk of which is to be used for court-appointed attorneys from the state district courts on down.

    Juveniles picked up for truancy normally are placed on probation, Laster said. If they are picked up for missing school again, they normally are sent to juvenile court as a child in need of supervision, Laster said.

    Contempt of court

    Students who are age 17 are considered adults in the criminal justice system. They usually are placed on probation the first time they are picked up for missing school, Laster said. On a subsequent offense, they can be held in contempt of court, jailed for up to 72 hours and fined up to $500 in JP court, Laster said.

    A student who is at risk of losing his or her liberty is entitled to an attorney. Laster, a judge since January 1999, told commissioners she was made aware of this just recently.

    • Charles W. Huffman says:

      Ignorance is no excuse before the law. These so called Judges need to be investigated by the Justice Department for civil rights abuses committed in the name of Justice, or color of authority.

      Their illegal activity’s where criminal in nature and they deserve prison time in Huntsville along with their Federal Prison sentences.

      Texas is a cancerous sore on the ass of the “United States of America” and the Texas justice systems authority over it’s citizens needs to be supervised by the Department of Justice and the US Attorney General.

  4. Kenneth Fish says:

    There is also an ACLU case in Texas that speaks directly to Ms. Tran’s circumstances:


    More recently, a Texas judge was sentenced to jail for failing to inform 17 year-old truants of their right to representation and alternatives to paying fines (community service)

  5. P.N. Elrod says:

    This injustice needs to be removed from Ms. Tran’s permanent record.

    The last thing she needs when she begins attending college herself it this ridiculous blot on her character.

    The judge was wholly out of line with that disgusting “Make an example of her” crud. As though that sort of thing ever works.

  6. Ellemme says:

    About the http://www.helpdianetran.com/ donation site.

    The Louisiana Children Education Alliance took the initiative to coordinate the set up of the site and worked together with Gaterworks.

    But they chose a platform from the start up Anedot (also from Louisiana) to collect the donations, which unfortunately does not accept PayPal. This is a major drawback for a case like Diane’s that has now reached an international audience and it is depriving Diane from connecting with donors who cannot pay with a credit card, as shown by the many posts from people who would like to donate but cannot because Paypal is not an option.

    You may want to investigate why Paypal has not been included and push for its implementation. Anedot is described as a “Donors” management platform, and may be well suited for political campaign donations, but not for an event like Diane’s. Paypal cannot be very difficult to implement: Many charities websites with up to date donation management systems offer the Paypal option. Anedot is not there yet and it is a disservice to Diane.

    I called the published phone number to inquire about implementing PayPal into the site…….but they hang up on me! Maybe they’ll listen to you?

  7. Charles Edwards says:

    I am not, cannot supply a lawyer, but, if legal to get this idiocy out of the way, would willingly volunteer to be her substitute for community service if permitted. Do not know how that could be accomplished, but if permitted by law, I will volunteer. This whole thing is a travesty of justice. Yes, examples should be set and by all means I believe this young lady should be made an example of. They should advertise her accomplishments far and wide. LOOK, see what can be accomplished in the face of adversity. I sincerely believe that she would serve as a very GOOD example to those that are ready to drop out, skip on a regular basis, or in any other way thumb their nose at authority. Put her on a pedestal;NOT in a cell. Judge, start getting ready for a new vocation for there are those with long memories that will stretch to the end of your term and remind others of your lack of common sense.

  8. Ellemme says:

    Good news from Anedot. They are looking into incorporating PayPal into the donation website.


  9. Paul Bonelli says:

    What are this idiots credentials as a JP? NONE..Has he even attended college. Shame on him. He needs to be in jail for failing to notify this young lady of her right to legal council.. Miss Tran needs to run for his JP position at the next election.

  10. David says:

    Diane Tran did nothing wrong and should not be punished by serving community service let alone time in jail. She was actually obeying the law by keeping up with grades while taking on a huge responsibility. Truancy laws are for kids who don’t want to go to school and are generally up to no good when present or not. Diane Tran should be presented as an inspiration to the rest of America and the world. Besides it being an injustice, when would she have time to do community service anyway? Diane Tran, you’re a hero, you’re awesome, you are one outstanding young woman and I’m proud to know that you live in America even if you have been mistreated by one of our jaded legalist judges who has no idea what law is for.

  11. Dotti says:

    In addition to all of the things that are being done to help Diane financially, pressure has to be put on the local autorities to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. I urge everyone to contact this inept Justice, the Texas tate Senators and Governor Perry. If you go to mcrp.org you’ll see contact information for people that can put pressure on Moriarty.

  12. Charles W. Huffman says:

    The Sate of Texas has had direct knowledge that this practice was a criminal act at the very least, over one year ago, and did nothing.

    The Montgomery County Commission was notified by another Probate Judge that she would not sentence anymore Teens’s to jail for truancy, because it was unlawful.

    The Montgomery County Commission did absolutely nothing to prevent this criminal act by the county probate Judges. This is willful malfeasance and conspiratorial action to obstruct justice.

    This happened Mar.11,2011

    Jury Convicts Texas Judge on 2 Counts of Official Oppression, for Sentencing Teen Truants to Jail.

    A jury today found a Texas judge guilty on two of three counts of official oppression, for sending teens to jail on legally dubious grounds.

    Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Mary Alice Palacios will now be sentenced at a later date.

    She could get as much as a year and a day in jail.

  13. I Samuel says:

    American dream in tatters due to incompetency of a supposedly guardian of American values!

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