As your District Clerk, I have–despite coming into a hiring freeze, and drastically cut budget–maintained one of the best “Clerk of the Court” offices in the state.  I did so using my engineering degree and law degree to continue to push technology into the justice complex.  I sought to increase jury participation–especially in under-served areas–and to streamline the jury process (saving taxpayer money).  And I continued to innovate the processes between county agencies to increase overall county judicial efficiency.

Specifically:

Technological Improvements-

  • All family courts & CPS are now electronic. Which was completed in 6 months after the funding for the mandate came down.
  • All Civil Courts are electronic and under mandatory electronic filing. [Completed within the first year of office].
  • Began scanning documents in County Criminal Courts.  90% of Felony Courts are now electronic, with all misdemeanor courts paper-on-demand.
  • Working with District Criminal Courts to develop docket entry screens for Judges.
  • All Appeals are now filed electronically.
  • Working with Tarrant County and JCIT to create criminal e‐filing system.
  • Exploring Electronic Docketing for County Criminal Courts.
  • Electronic Citations/Service of records.
  • Allowed associated parties online access to divorce records.
  • E-Subpoenas-saving the Sheriff and DA money and speeding up internal interactions to speed up justice.
  • Piloting electronic Warrants

Jury-

  • Increased Jury Participation to 61%.
  • Extended the “Jury Wheel” [database] life to a 5 year cycle by cleaning up the list of duplicate names and bad addresses.
  • Eliminated the Wednesday afternoon jury call to save money and not waste jurors unnecessarily.
  • Kept using the Predecessor’s stationary and Juror Summons envelops until they ran out, saving tens of thousands on printing costs. (no sense in reprinting with my name just to have my name on something)
  • Increased minority participation through free TV Commercials, Radio Ads, Metro Billboards, and Freeway Billboards.

Passports-

In response to constituent requests to expand services, and in response to the Federal Government shutting down their local downtown headquarters for renovations, became one of the latest counties in Texas to accept passport applications.  Just like the Post Office in process, we even take the photo if you forgot to buy one elsewhere.  Unlike the Federal Government, we stay open when they shut down, and we are open 9-4 with walk-ins accepted.

So as you can see we have accomplished a lot.  Only good things are on the horizon, including smart phone/ tablet apps to increase mobile access to the justice system.

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