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Two new courts for Hays County

The Texas Legislature this month approved the creation of two new courts for Hays County to deal with the backlog of cases experienced due to growth.

However, the new district court and county court-at-law can’t be established until 2018, said Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley.

Conley said county officials will work with the court system, including district court and county court-at-law judges and District Attorney Wes Mau, to begin the process of establishing the new courts.

“We will work with our justice system, probably starting in this budget year, to develop a strategy on how to bring those courts sometime during the 2018 process,” Conley said.

The new courts were first introduced as House Bill (HB 2737), which was authored by State Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs).  The bill called for the creation of the 453rd judicial district to be located in Hays County.

While the bill was introduced and read for the first time on March 28, it was referred to the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee, where it remained motionless.

With time winding down in the regular session, language within HB 2737 was later added to the omnibus for Senate Bill 1329, authored by State Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Austin), which dealt with various legal matters.  SB 1329 passed the House with a 144-0 vote with two not present, and passed the Senate as well.

The new courts will be located in the Hays County Government Center in San Marcos, where the district courts and county court-at-law are located.

“When we built that facility, we built it with the idea that we would add judges sometime in the future so we have space available for those positions,” Conley said.

The hiring of two additional judges will alleviate the backlog of cases as the county continues to rapidly grow.

Currently, four district judges, three associate judges and two county court-at-law judges serve Hays County and its residents.

Hays County includes the 22nd, 207th, 274th, 428th Judicial District Courts and County Court at Law No. 1 and No. 2.

Hays County Court-at-Law No. 2 was created in 1987and the 428th Judicial District Court was created in 2005.

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