UPDATED: March 17th, 2020. Below are two sections in this article. The first is the most recent reply to our email to the Helotes Municipal Court Administrator, replied by the City’s Public Relations Specialist.
I received your inquiry regarding Helotes Municipal Court. The City of Helotes is following the recommendation of the Texas Office of Court Administration regarding court closures. City officials are actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and any new updates will be published online. You may review the Helotes Municipal Court Public Notice published on the City website yesterday for details.
Public Relations Specialist
Below is the original Helotes News March 16th, 2020 post.
According to a Public Notice posted on the Municipal Court’s section of helotes-tx.gov, all cases set for a hearing or trial from March 24th through March 31st, 2020 will be rescheduled.
Click here to read the Public Notice
This story is developing. We sent an email with the below questions to the Helotes Municipal Court Administrator at 11:05pm CST this evening. We will follow up with a separate article once the court has time to respond.
Below is the body of the email we submitted this evening. We altered the format to work with our website code and did not alter the text.
Good Evening Mrs. Fontanes,
We recently read the Public Notice and have some follow up questions for your office. If you have a few moments could you please reply with answers to the below questions?
- Why are cases for March 24th through the 31st being rescheduled and not cases for the current week, March 16th through 20th?
- Is this current rescheduling of cases directed by a higher authority such as Bexar County or the State of Texas?
- If yes to 2, is this authority providing your court with resources or guidance on how to manage the disruption to your existing docket?
- If no to 2, please answer the following:
- Is the court being pragmatic and making a reschedule decision case on a week by week basis as the COVID-19 situation develops?
- Does the court have a plan in the works or have an existing plan to deal with case back-logs should rescheduling cases becomes a routine procedure during the coming weeks and months?
- Will the court consider increasing any of the fines to mitigate or recoup the costs of additional mailings for rescheduled cases?
- Will the court consider increasing any of the fines to a) serve as a severe deterrent and, or b) recoup all employment, health care, benefits costs associated with the increased infection risk law enforcement and court employees face in the performance of their duties?
- The Public Notice contains a Gmail email address to forward required documents. Is this email address staffed by court employees or another entity? If another entity, please describe their relationship to the court, contractor, agency, etc. If they are a company please provide their legal business name. If they are a government entity identify the office.
- Lastly, what direction would the court like to provide to our readers, Helotes citizens, businesses, organizations and those who pass through our great city? This is your area for a public service announcement. Things along the line of; help make our city safer by following the laws and ordinances to avoid backlogs, increased costs for paperwork when rescheduled, and follow traffic laws to reduce our police officers’ exposure to others.
In closing, we appreciate your time, your service to our community and look forward to your responses.
Helotes News LLC