The Municipal Courts Department celebrated the opening of two new courtrooms with a ribbon cutting ceremony on August 5 inside the Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse located downtown. Mayor Sylvester Turner, Director and Presiding Judge, J. Elaine Marshall, along with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Councilman Jack Christie and MCD staff gathered to celebrate the new additions.
“Houstonians are likely to encounter the judicial system at the Municipal Court level more often than any other court. We are excited to be able to improve our facility to accommodate our citizens in a more efficient manner,” stated Judge J. Elaine Marshall, Director and Presiding Judge of the Municipal Courts Department. “We are grateful to Mayor Turner for strategizing and providing positive solutions to meet the evolving needs of the Houston Municipal Courts to better serve our citizens,” said Judge Marshall.
Due to Hurricane Harvey, The Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse lost its basement area, 5 full-service courts, the main lobby elevators, as well as several work areas. Due to these losses, the department was forced to combine work areas and deal with overcrowding for citizens and court staff. In 2018, The Houston Municipal Courts handled close to an average of 1 million cases, which resulted in severe overcrowding for citizens and court staff. The opening of these two new courts provides additional space to ease the overcrowded conditions.
Special thanks to the General Services Department for working diligently and collaborating to build two new courtrooms and to oversee the rehabilitation of our main lobby elevators. For more information on Municipal Courts, visit www.houstontx.gov/courts and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.