formation was available to the AG’s office, but suit without notice was instituted nonetheless, for taxes already paid and for failure to obtain the certificate that the comptroller’s office said was unnecessary. At the hearings before Judge Roberts, the AG’s staff justified its action by noting that Battershell was president of the New Mexico corporation and that even though the corporation had nominally given up control, Battershell was still regularly transferring Mini-Vue boxoffice and bookstore receipts to the corporation’s New Mexico bank account, where the money was practically out of reach of any Texas claim for taxes. Battershell countered by saying that he took over as sole proprietor because that was one option suggested by the comptroller’s office that would obviate the need for a certificate of authority; the deposits made into corporate accounts of MiniVue revenues Battershell’s attorney depicted as an oversight by a client untutored in the arcana of corporate law, and not a sign that the corporation had retained effective control of the Mini-Vue Theater. This is the key question that remains to be resolved in the state tax suit. Judge Roberts didn’t enjoin the suit on the merits of tax and penalty liability, though he questioned the strength of the AG’s case in view of the comptroller’s records; only the receivership was attacked in his court. But he enjoined the receivership in emphatic language that implicitly reflected on the conduct of the AG’s office in the whole episode: “This Court is strongly of the opinion, as stated in open court, that the actions of the State [read: AG’s office] in having the receiver appointed and in shutting down the Mini-Vue Theater and bookstores were done in bad faith and for the purpose of harassing Plaintiffs [Battershell et al.] and suppressing their constitutionally protected conduct.” THERE’S NO FUTURE IN NUCLEAR POWER. Express your opposition to the nu clear industry with this hard-hitting bumper sticker. $1.50. M. W. Browning, Box 407, Cedar Knolls, N.J. 07927. FOREIGN AUTO SERVICE. In Houston. Honest, reliable service. VW. Volvo, and some others. 1805 Laverne, 467-0664. RECORDER PLAYERS. Looking for recorder music? We have largest library in West. Come in or send for catalog. Amster Recorder Co., 1624 Lavaca, Austin 78703. BOOK-HUNTING? No obligation search for rare or out-of-print books. Ruth and John 8, Box 173, Austin, Texas 73703. 22 DECEMBER 16, 1977 What Judge Roberts had before him, after all, was a state takeover and shutdown of an enterprise whose operators were protected by the First Amendment. The receivership was obtained in a largely questionable tax suit filed without notice by the AG’s organized crime division instead of its taxation division. It had been initiated at the prompting not of state tax officials but of local law enforcement authorities looking for an indirect way to halt the exhibition of films they considered obscene, because the First Amendment’s strictures against prior restraint wouldn’t allow them to act directly. The AG’s staff could not dispel the impression of impropriety the situation created; in fact, organized crime division chief Carruth reinforced it by conceding that his division pursued the case only because an allegedly criminal enterprise was involved. In the face of this record, Judge Roberts could only conclude that the AG’s office had “hoisted itself with its own petard,” by contending that a tax receivership and shutdown would have been sought regardless of the nature and content of the Mini-Vue’s merchandise, while proving precisely the opposite with an acknowledgment of the police/ prosecutorial character of the proceedings. Remaining before Judge Roberts is the claim by Battershell for damages his business suffered while it was unconstitutionally shut down and for the period thereafter while patronage stayed below its pre-seizure level. As to the coincidence between the highly publicized raid on the Mini-Vue and John Hill’s Amarillo campaign stop, Roberts simply noted it in his opinion without direct comment. But, simply by mentioning the coincidence along with other factors that made this tax suit so extraordinary, the judge implied that it contributed to his conclusion that the AG’s office acted in bad faith. 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Write Campaign Associates, Inc., 516 Petroleum Bldg., Dept. 0,SV.Zrurt}1 4,441″, Philip Maxwell, the erstwhile Hill subordinate whose tenure as receiver Judge Roberts cut short, conceded to the Observer that the opinion makes the AG and his staff “look bad,” but steadfastly insists that the awkward inferences mistrustful folks might draw from the suspicious circumstances Judge Roberts cited are simply without foundation. Both Maxwell and Carruth contend the suit was brought in good faith to vindicate a legitimate state claim. They also insist that Hill himself played no part in deciding whether or when to sue for a shutdown of the Mini-Vue. Hill could not be reached for comment. What can’t be denied is that the’ Mini-Vue was notorious in Amarillo. where a highly conservative electorate takes a dim view of dirty movies and appreciates a politician with a “nononsense” approach to crime control. Nor can it be denied that gubernatorial candidate John Hill showed up in Amarillo at an opportune time to reap the political benefits of constitutionally questionable but locally popular measures by present and past subordinates. Even taking Hill’s on-the-scene disclaimer of any connection with his campaign to be absolutely correct \(and there’s no hard evidence to suggest we sibility for the constitution-slighting conduct of his deputies. And the appearance of a political connection in such a case is so subversive of faith in the proper administration of the AG’s office that Hill bears an added quantum of responsibility to see to it that the internal workings of his office preclude irregularities like those that surfaced in the Mini-Vue case. Otherwise, to borrow Phillip Maxwell’s turn of phrase, the AG and his people are going to look pretty bad. Eric Hartman is a recent graduate of the University of Texas Law School and an Observer staff assistant. 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