Citation Fee To Fund Technology in Courts

Judge Thomas Jones, Potter County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4
Judge Thomas Jones, Potter County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4

Local county courts could soon make technology upgrades with money from traffic tickets.

The way it works is simple.

All citations, including speeding tickets, will carry an additional $4 fee. That money is put into a fund used to upgrade everything from new software to security in the courts. The technology fee is already in place at local Justice of the Peace courts.

"Without the up to snuff software, then you are going to face some problems getting information, key information from one part of the state to another part of the state," said Judge Thomas L. Jones, Potter County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4.

But there are other problems. Rural communities in the Panhandle face the challenge of gathering enough money to supply technology needs in their courts.

"With the upgrade comes the modernization of their offices," Jones said. "It's a big help to them to keep them up, on pace and on track, as far as some of the other areas in the state, particularly those metropolitan areas where they do not have that problem."

Judges in Dallam, Sherman and Moore counties all say there are benefits to the fee, even though their communities are much smaller.   Some said without the fee, rural courts would be forced to go back to pencil and paper.

All three counties approved resolutions asking for the fund. In order for the fee to take effect, the state legislature must approve the request.