Dallas County

In Dallas County, "I Couldn't Find the Courtroom" Is a Legit Excuse for Missing Court

If you think "I couldn't find the courtroom" is a terrible excuse for failing to show up to one's criminal trial, you're right. But in Dallas County, more often than you'd think, it's legitimate. That's not just according to the defendants but to County Clerk John Warren, who says as much in a memo to county commissioners in advance of tomorrow's meeting:

For many years, we have had the issue of providing court docket information for litigants in the criminal courts. As a result of the inability to display court docket information, some defendants have been lost or failed to appear and has resulted in a warrant being issued this has also caused the judge in the criminal courts to recall the warrant. It has created additional work for both the clerk's staff as well as that of the judge.

All is a direct result of the defendant not being able to easily find the court to which they are to appear.

The proposed solution is simple -- so simple, you wonder why it wasn't implemented years ago. Warren is proposing installation of four digital screens that will display party name and hearing information. Costs all of $8,500. Similar screens have proven successful at courthouses in Collin, Travis, and Harris counties, not to mention every airport ever.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson