2nd District Court Coming to Nacogdoches

by Jessica Cervantez

For more than a decade, Nacogdoches County has been working diligently for a second district court. At last, those in the judicial system can now count the days. Governor Rick Perry signed the bill.

Although the court is a positive step forward, representatives say there is still a lot of work ahead.

District Attorney Ed Klein says word that Nacogdoches County will be receiving a second district court is more than good news, it is a triumph.

"It was a lot of hard work by a lot of people, a lot of dedication. They stuck to it even when the initial word was to forget about it, it is not going to pass," Klein said.

Klein believes it is time for change.

"Over time, the way the court system functions in Nacogdoches has been kind of dysfunctional, and our counties are getting bigger and cases are growing," he said.

Now that a second district court has been approved, the question lies in how it will work?

"It depends. Some people have said two courts that hear criminal cases at the same time is not good. Prosecutors will be spread out through the courts," said Klein.

It is no secret that the backlog of cases has been a continuous problem. District Judge Campbell Cox said there would be a reallocation of cases. Family law, half of the felony, and half of the juvenile cases would go to the new district court.

Klein believes Angelina County has the right idea.

"All judges should hear all cases. That is what citizens want and that is what they should get," said Klein.

The new court is scheduled to begin in 2005, which means there is plenty of time to decide exactly how the new court will operate.