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Legislation creating new district court in Hays County passes

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A new District Court will soon be created in Hays County following the passing of House Bill 3774, Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) announced Thursday.

HB 3774, the Office of Court Administration Omnibus Bill by Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano), awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature.

“This new court will help ensure that caseloads are reasonable, the backlog of current cases is resolved, and help mitigate overcrowding of the county jail,” Zwiener said. “Thank you to Senator (Judith) Zaffirini, Hays County, and my colleagues for getting this over the finish line.”

Zwiener said an additional court in Hays County will reduce the population pending trial in the county jail and will reduce caseloads for existing prosecutors and judges, aiming to prevent long wait times for trial.

The Hays County Commissioners Court approved a resolution of support for the new district court during its March 30 meeting. The resolution states that “Despite the limitations of efficiencies, Hays County continues to experience steady population growth and burdens on both criminal and civil caseloads. And whereas, the number of district courts within Hays County is insufficient to meet its current needs. And whereas, current and former Hays County judges have voiced support for the creation of courts to assist in relieving the burden on caseload. And whereas, the Hays County Commissioners Court finds it is in the best interest of citizens in Hays County to create one additional judicial district within Hays County.”

HB 3774 creates new courts in an attempt to reduce strain on the court system in Texas. Zwiener’s office stated that several factors were taken into account during the evaluation process, including caseloads, case backlogs, population growth and county support.

The Hays County Commissioners Court requested the implementation of the court be delayed until Sept. 1, 2022.

San Marcos Record

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