PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

March 14, 2014

252nd Court reduces case backlog

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

BEAUMONT — Lindsey Scott may only have the bench in the 252nd District Court until November, but that hasn’t stopped her from making strides in the office.

In less than one week, Scott — who was appointed to the judgeship in January following the resignation of Layne Walker — moved 128 cases from the court’s trial docket.

Upon completion of the dockets, more than 50 cases were pled, along with an additional 50 cases that were moved off the trial docket for resolution in the next few weeks, according to a press release.

Scott said that some of the cases had been in the backlog for some time, including a trial set for Monday, March 17, that dates back to 2007. She said that the backlog could be attributed to a number of factors.

“To go to trial, the prosecutors have to be there and ready, the defense attorneys have to be there and ready, and the judge has to be there and willing,” Scott said. “It’s a matter of everyone being in the same place at the same time. There’s a lot more that goes into it than what people think.”

 The progress made in addressing the court’s backlog was a collaborative effort between Scott’s staff, the prosecutors, acting District Attorney Cory Crenshaw’s office, the defense bar and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who brought inmates to the office to plead their case.

“Everybody worked really hard — it was truly a big team effort,” Scott said. “It was an opportunity for everyone to get together and negotiate cases. Hopefully it helped clear out some of the ones that were never going to be trials.”

Scott said that she hopes the candidate who takes over the judgeship after the November election will continue the progress.

“But we’re going to do what we can to put a dent in it this year,” she said.

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA