Courts Comment on District Clerk's Office

LIBERTY, January 8, 2018 - A few years ago a man was stopped in Cleveland and drugs were found in the rental car he was driving. He was arrested and charged with possession. The case was assigned to the 253rd District Court and after a three year delay the case finally showed up in Court.

The defendant’s attorney made a motion to dismiss the case because the defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated. The trial court granted the motion. The State, (Prosecutors), appealed the ruling of the trial court to the Appeals Court Ninth District of Texas in Beaumont in an attempt to try the case.

According to the Appeals Court, the three year delay was caused by the negligence of the District Clerk and the Deputy District Clerks in her office in allowing the case to fall off the court docket and failed to send out notices of required court appearances by the defendant.

The trial court’s comments reflect that the court blamed the delay’s in the case on clerking errors, which occurred because a deputy clerk failed to place the case on the trial court’s dockets and failed to notify the parties about the case.

In granting the motion to dismiss the case, trial court commented that the delays in this case occurred because, “the clerk doesn’t appear to be taking care of business.”

The record supports the trial court’s conclusion that a deputy clerk’s negligence accounted for a significant period of the delays that occurred in bringing this case to trial.

The motion to uphold the trial courts ruling and dismiss the case was upheld by the Court of Appeals despite the State’s efforts to have it overturned.

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