Victoria Municipal Court to hold first hybrid virtual/in-person hearings

Court continues to adjust services for the community's needs
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A Zoom video feed is displayed on the projector screens at the Municipal Court courtroom, 107 W. Juan Linn St., allowing defendants to appear remotely during an in-person court session.

VICTORIA, Texas – The City of Victoria Municipal Court will hold its first hybrid virtual/in-person hearings on July 12, as the court continues to adjust its services to meet the needs of the community.

Defendants who are summoned to appear in court for a listing or a bench trial will have the opportunity to choose between attending in person at the Municipal Court building located at 107 W. Juan Linn Street, or virtually through Zoom.

“As we safely reopen the court to in-person attendance, we want to be mindful that the virtual hearings have been more convenient for many people, especially out-of-town defendants,” said Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold. “The new hybrid format will help to improve access to justice by allowing defendants to choose the option that fits their needs.”

The decision is in agreement with guidance from the statewide Office of Court Administration, which recommends that courts keep providing a vitural option as they transition back to in-person proceedings.

Open court docket will continue to be exclusively virtual to help limit the amount of people in the courtroom, and pretrial sessions, in which a defendent meets with a prosecutor, will be held remotely, as well. The court will continue to offer accomodations to defendants who don’t have a way to attend virtual court sessions.

Previously, the court announced that it was preparing to hold fully remote jury trials, but officials are currently looking into the possibility of hosting jury trials in a hybrid format. As of right now, the court does not have any pending jury trials.

The general public will not be required to attend hearings in person, and residents are able to watch cout proceedings live on YouTube at Victoria Municipal Court.

Contact the court for more information about Municipal Court policies at 361-485-3050 or courtclerk@victoriatx.gov, or visit www.victoriatx.gov/municipalcourt.