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City News

Posted on: May 12, 2020

Virtual Court

Photo of gavel on laptpop

Presiding Judge Dick Gregg III and the Seabrook Municipal Court recently implemented new technology which will allow for virtual court proceedings. Since the closure of city facilities to the public, the Seabrook Municipal Court has been providing court hearings primarily through teleconference or as in most instances by postponing in person hearings until city facilities reopen.

In an effort to provide an alternative to a personal appearance, especially for those persons determined to be of higher risk to infection, and to also ensure the health and safety of the public moving forward, the Seabrook Municipal Court has opted to now give people an option of having a virtual court hearing through Tyler Technologies Virtual Court program. Tyler Virtual Court provides a way for courts to handle cases remotely, removing the burden of having Defendants physically appear in a courtroom while also broadening access to justice for disadvantaged or displaced Defendants.  

The technology allows the Judge, Prosecutor and Court Administrators (who may all be in different remote locations) to conduct face-to-face court sessions with remote Defendants through a video-chat-enabled virtual session. The solution also supports real time case information and document sharing, allowing clients to come to a resolution in one hearing, including, making a payment. The mobile, secure platform is maintained and hosted by Tyler Technologies and it is accessible on any electronic device that has a camera and microphone, including an iPhone, iPad, smart phone, laptop, and/or desktop computer.

“Tyler’s virtual court solution allows us to continue normal court operations without having to postpone dockets for weeks or even months,” said Jessica Ancira, the Seabrook Municipal Court Administrator. “Plus Tyler ingrates seamlessly into our current court processing system so staff can easily conduct business remotely or on site.”

While City Hall and other city facilities will soon open to the public, the Municipal Court will not hold in-person court dockets until June or later. Giving Defendants the option of attending virtual court not only protects the health and wellbeing of the Defendant and court staff, it also gives an alternative to those who may not live in Seabrook and would have to drive a long distance for their court hearing.

“The Seabrook Municipal Court is dedicated to serving justice by providing a unique service that is effective, efficient and delivered in a professional manner,” said Seabrook Municipal Court Judge Dick H. Gregg, III. “The new virtual court technology helps us to move forward and continue providing exceptional service in unknown times.”

This virtual court option is voluntary and available for most court matters. Anyone who has a case and is interested in appearing in the virtual court should visit www.seabrooktx.gov/court and complete the Virtual Court Request Form.

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