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County creates new magistrate positions

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Hays County created two part time Magistrate Judge positions Tuesday as part of Judge Ruben Becerra’s efforts to reduce outsourcing of inmates. 

Hays County has a budget of $4 million for outsourcing inmates, Becerra said his goal for the office of magistration is to eventually get rid of the line item all together. 

Commissioner Lon Shell explained that magistration must be done within 48 hours and at least once a day, seven days a week. This means that someone must be on call for magistration all the time. Additionally, for any situation where an inmate and an attorney go to court, for example to argue a reduction on the bond that was set, the original magistrate must be available. Currently that is done by Justices of the Peace that would be called in to court from their precinct where they should be doing other duties, Shell said. 

The office of magistration was created to improve efficiencies including setting a consistent process for magistration and collecting better data. The two part time positions will allow a dedicated magistrate to be available at all times that won’t be pulled from other civic duties. 

The court approved an amended Racial Profiling Report from the Hays County Constable’s Office, Precinct 3. The report detailed two cases where the officer knew the ethnicity prior to stopping the individual out of 329. 

Constable Helm explained the report was amended because the numbers in the original report, which was “alarming” according to Becerra, was entered incorrectly. 

Becerra requested Helm provide documentation that might validate the new report after accepting the report which enters it into the record.

In other business, March 24 was declared World Tuberculosis Day for Hays County.

San Marcos Record

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