Municipal Court offers evening Open Court session in July

The City of Victoria Municipal Court is offering its first evening hours Open Court Day on Monday, July 15.

The evening docket is in addition to the day-time Open Court Days scheduled for 1 P.M. on July 22, August 26 and September 23.

Court officials recognized that some defendants who work during the day may not be able to leave work for the normally scheduled afternoon open docket sessions, Court Administrator Tiffany Totah explained.

The July 15 open court session will begin at 5:30 p.m. Totah emphasized defendants must register prior to the convening of court.

The registration will be open beginning at 4:30 and close promptly at 5:30, or sooner, if the court room reaches capacity.

Defendants are not arrested or detained during “Open Court Day” for outstanding City of Victoria Municipal Court warrants.

On Open Court Days, defendants with past due tickets or active warrants may come in and speak to Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold about special circumstances that may limit their ability to pay fines, set up payment plans, or reinstate previously approved payment plans.

If the judge makes a judicial finding that a defendant is indigent and unable to pay the fine and court costs, the judge may offer alternatives to the payment of a fine, such as allowing indigent defendants to perform community service.

In cases of severe financial hardship, the judge has the authority to decrease the fine or number of community service hours required depending on the severity of the defendant’s financial situation.

Totah estimated there are approximately 2600 outstanding arrest warrants on the books of the Municipal Court. Each month, as many as 200 new warrants are issued. Some people have multiple outstanding warrants.

For information on warrant resolution and the amnesty court, contact the City of Victoria Municipal Court at (361) 485-3050.

The information in this article was sent in a press release by Diane Boyett, with the City of Victoria.