While the prospect of appearing in Municipal Court may elevate a person’s anxiety and apprehension, the court’s officials, staff and associated personnel all do their best to ensure the experience disproves that notion.
“There’s a certain mystique about Municipal Court that’s sometimes fueled by misunderstandings,” says Court Administrator Celia O’Dell. “We are here to serve our citizens the same way as other Town departments.”
To help dispel some of the ambiguity that may be part of the Municipal Court’s function, the Town of Prosper is participating national Municipal Courts Week activities. The week, set aside to familiarize residents with the purposes and workings of Municipal Court, is Nov. 7 to 11.
In addition to a Council proclamation, scheduled for public reading at the Nov. 8 Council Meeting, a free reception is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Municipal Court, 108 W. Broadway.
“We will open our doors for the public to come in and get to know the staff,” said O’Dell. “We will be more than happy to answer questions and provide information on the Court’s operations. We want to remove any misconceptions of what we do and how we do it.”
Present at the reception will be Municipal Court Judge David Moore, Prosecutor David Ritter, Court Administrator Celia O’Dell, Court Clerk Sonia Holmes, translator Cristina Ochoa and Bailiffs Scott Lacagnin and Mike Howard.
“We know that the Municipal Court is often the only time citizens have any interaction with the Town, and many times that interaction is the result of something less than positive,” she said. “We’re looking to ensure that people understand our role in an atmosphere free of any negativity.”
Municipal Court offices, at 110 W. Broadway, are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Court is in session every Thursday starting at 9:30 a.m.