News Flash Home
The original item was published from 12/8/2020 3:54:00 PM to 4/29/2021 12:00:05 AM.

News Flash

News Releases

Posted on: April 28, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Municipal Court strives for accessibility

Municipal Court drop box

The City of Victoria Municipal Court’s longstanding goal of increasing accessibility has taken on an increased urgency as court officials work to balance the efficiency and availability of the justice system with public health concerns, but the court has risen to the occasion.

“A lot of the changes we’ve made were already on the agenda, but we’ve had to adjust our timeline because of COVID-19,” said Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold. “We’re implementing policies now that we hope to continue in the future because of the positive response we’ve gotten.”

During the pandemic, Heinold and her staff have tried to provide additional resources and to be flexible if a person needs a deadline extension or accommodation.

“During this situation, people have lists of worries that they need to prioritize, like shelter, security, food and medicine,” Heinold said. “I don’t want Municipal Court fines to be another item on that list along with life-and-death issues.”

Since concerns about COVID-19 began, the court has implemented E-Court Appearances on Mondays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. through Zoom. Defendants can use the videoconferencing platform to enter a plea, request a deadline extension or resolve outstanding warrants. Defendants who plead not guilty will be notified later of their scheduled trial dates.

In addition to allowing participants to practice social distancing, the system is especially convenient for defendants who live outside of Victoria County or who otherwise would have difficulty appearing in person.

Victoria’s virtual court system has attracted the interest of larger cities such as Fort Worth and Sugar Land, with representatives reaching out to observe Victoria’s virtual hearings and seek advice on how to implement such a system.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on being ahead of the curve with these types of new initiatives, but it’s still exciting to see these larger cities taking an interest in our virtual court,” Heinold said. “That shows us that we’re doing something right.”

The court is able to process payments of fines and fees by mail or online, or over the phone on a case-by-case basis and only if the person already is setup on an existing payment arrangement. Also, officials recently added an on-site drop box for payments and documentation, similar to the boxes already in use at 700 Main Center for utility bill payments. Residents are able to submit documentation and correspond with court staff through email at courtclerk@victoriatx.org. The court has also moved its defensive driving signup online and is looking into adding online options for other services.

PHOTO: The City of Victoria Municipal Court recently installed an on-site drop box to accept payments and documentation.


Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in News Releases

Map showing closures on McCright from the children's park to the golf course, Fox Bend, John Lee

Parts of Riverside Park close

Posted on: June 4, 2021
Map showing Riverside Park with closures at Fox Bend, Grover's Bend and John F. Lee Drive

Most of Riverside Park reopens

Posted on: May 28, 2021
Map showing closure of Bottom Road

Bottom Road to close

Posted on: May 26, 2021
Map showing closed areas of Riverside Park. Main roads (McCright Drive and Memorial Drive) are open.

Riverside Park to close Wednesday

Posted on: May 25, 2021
Map shows road closure on Ben Jordan Street near Galant Fox Drive

Part of Ben Jordan Street to close

Posted on: May 17, 2021
Young kids stand under a water pouring feature at a splash pad

Splash pads to open 7 days a week

Posted on: April 23, 2021
Utility Billing Office exterior

City of Victoria issues boil-water notice

Posted on: February 17, 2021
Elevated view of the Leo J. Welder Center building. A Main Street banner and street art are visible.

City asks for input about downtown

Posted on: January 11, 2021
Assistant City Manager Darrek Ferrell

City of Victoria seeks broadband developer

Posted on: December 15, 2020
A hose-end sprinkler on a bright green lawn.

City needs public to conserve water

Posted on: November 17, 2020
Side-by-side portraits of two women

City of Victoria announces new hires

Posted on: November 17, 2020
Map showing that one block of Main Street is closed from Commercial to Goodwin by the library

Part of Main Street to close

Posted on: November 12, 2020
Map showing road closure on Crestwood Drive from Halsey Street to Ben Jordan Street.

Part of Crestwood Drive to close

Posted on: November 12, 2020
Map showing road closure on Crestwood Drive from Halsey Street to Ben Jordan Street.

Part of Crestwood Drive to close

Posted on: November 9, 2020
Map showing that Crestwood Drive will be closed between Laurent and Azalea.

Part of Crestwood Drive to close Nov. 4

Posted on: November 2, 2020
Jesus Garza

City moves forward with master plans

Posted on: September 22, 2020
Police Patches

City announces chief of police finalists

Posted on: September 11, 2020

Notice of Adopted 2020 Tax Rate

Posted on: September 3, 2020
Texas Department of Transportation logo

Navarro median project update

Posted on: June 26, 2020