But pageant organizers, weary of a case fit for a soap opera, wasted no time crowning Ashley Dixon as Miss San Antonio -- placing the tiara on her while the former runner-up sat in the gallery of the courtroom.
"The judge's decision today speaks for itself," said Linda Woods, president of the Miss Bexar County organization, which runs the Miss San Antonio pageant.
Ramirez was not in court for the decision; her attorneys said she was ill. State District Judge Cathleen Stryker set a March trial after denying a motion for a temporary injunction following a two-day hearing, in which Ramirez testified she was ordered to lose 13 pounds.
Ramirez is 5-foot-8 and weighs 129 pounds. Woods and the pageant have repeatedly denied that her measurements were the deciding factor and have accused Ramirez of exaggerating the issue in several nationally televised interviews.
"This time, we'll get 12 people who get to decide who gets the crown," said Luis Vera, Ramirez's attorney. "So, you know, it's a temporary setback."
Ramirez sued the pageant after being stripped of her crown in January. The pageant claimed she violated her contract by breaking rules, such as showing up late to events and not writing thank-you notes.
A portion of Ramirez's contract stating that a "baseline for my weight and measurements will be established" is among the contract violations listed in a countersuit filed by the Miss Bexar County group.
Most of the allegations, however, accuse Ramirez of being chronically tardy for appearances, such as grocery store openings, or skipping them altogether.
Woods said Dixon will now prepare to represent the city in the Miss Texas pageant.
"Until we go to trial in March, I will represent San Antonio to the best of my ability," Dixon said.