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Officials Streamline Operations at Houston Municipal Courts

Under a new city ordinance Houston Municipal Courts is combining departments — a move officials hope will save time and money. Gail Delaughter reports.

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Officials say the move is designed to cut down on duplication of services, as the municipal courts system combines its administrative and judicial departments. Spokeswoman Gwendolyn Goins says some office personnel will move to customer service positions, meaning more windows will be open for people needing to pay fines. They also want to put more clerks in the courtroom.

“You may have a large courtroom with a large docket, with 75 to 100 people on the docket. Then instead of one or two court clerks serving that judge and getting those defendants out, we could add additional court clerks to help in that process as well.”

Houston has on of the largest municipal court systems in the country, employing close to four hundred people and handling over a million cases a year. Goins says the move is also designed to save money and they’re hoping to have a positive report for the mayor at the end of the fiscal year.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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