Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Counties that agree to judicial emergency plans must be prepared to give up court space

Jeff Rambin at Tyler Appeals writes:
I checked out the Interim Report of the Task Force to Ensure Judicial Readiness in Times of Emergency. Basically, it calls for counties to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Supreme Court of Texas. If you sign up, you promise to provide facilities for nearby counties when they're out of commission. In return, you'll be paid rent, and you'll have the comfort of knowing that other signatory counties will house your courts if the need arises. But don't sign up unless you mean it. When the time comes, the decision won't rest in the hands of your county officials. Instead, a judicial authority will come knocking with the MOU in hand saying: "We're here!" ...

The plan sounds reasonable enough. But here in Smith County, the debate is over whether we have enough room for our own courts. If the judges, clerks and bailiffs from some other county came knocking, I don't know where we'd put them. I sure would like to know how many counties have signed up for this plan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In times of emergency, courts cold operate two shifts!

The MOU could advise the arriving county personnel that they would have the second shift. After all, it is an emergency - isn't it?