LUBBOCK, Texas– Citizens who have overdue tickets may receive a letter in the mail in the upcoming weeks after a judge in Lubbock County’s second precinct said she’s cracking down.
Judge Susan Rowley, Justice of the Peace for Precinct Two, said she is issuing 2,000 letters this week to citizens who still need to settle tickets. If they do not respond to the letter by the date listed in early September, they’ll be served a warrant.
“These are fine only offenses,” Rowley said. “The only reason you would have a warrant and go to jail is because you don’t pay them on time.”
Rowley assumed a backlog of more than 19,211 criminal cases when she started her role as judge in January. After assessing each case, she arranged a blanket dismissal for 10,000 of those cases because they passed the statute of limitations.
With each ticket averaging $200, Rowley said that is about $2 million the county lost because they did not take action in time.
“The injustice is there,” she said. “The fact that they broke the law and they were never followed up on.”
By dismissing these cases, Rowley added this will protect people from being arrested on warrants that are no longer legally valid.
Related Story: Lubbock Co. JP backlogged 26,000 criminal and civil cases
Curtis Parrish, the Lubbock County judge said the city’s intentions are not to write tickets for monetary gain, rather keep the city safe.
“I would say that is one of the pillars we do here in Lubbock County is make sure we have adequate public safety, adequate courts, and adequate infrastructure,” Parrish said.
As part of the muli-thousand case backlog, Rowley said the 3,500 issuance of bad check (IBC) cases must remain open until a hot check issue is settled and the victim is repaid.
In addition, 500 were felony cases and about 3,000 were settled by Rowley individually. Rowley’s next task is settling a backlog of 7,000 civil cases.
Tickets can be paid online or in the Precinct Two office at the Lubbock County Courthouse. Other inquiries can be directed to Rowley’s office.