Virtual jury summons head for Presidio County mailboxes

PRESIDIO COUNTY — Presidio County is gearing up for another virtual trial, and local Judge Roy Ferguson is asking residents to please check their mailboxes to make sure they don’t miss their jury summons. Anyone summoned as a potential juror for the trial has until Friday, April 9, to check in.

In keeping with coronavirus precautions, every part of this trial — from jury check-in to the trial itself — is happening online. “I’m proud of our community for leading the way in continuing access to justice during the pandemic,” Judge Ferguson said in a brief phone interview on Tuesday. “Presidio County was one of the first counties in the state to conduct a fully virtual jury trial, and is now one of the first to hold a second.”

Once residents receive their jury summons, they will need to check in at Next, they’ll need to click the button near the top of the page which reads, “Click here to answer your jury summons.”

Potential jurors should have their summons paperwork ready, because they’ll need a password provided on that document to log in. Anyone with questions about the process or who needs Spanish translation services can get help by calling the local jury hotline at 432-729-8178.

For residents who don’t have access to a computer device, tablets are available for pick up at the Presidio County Courthouse, as well as at the Courthouse Annex in Presidio. And as for residents who don’t have internet access at home or who worry their internet access isn’t fast enough, free high-speed wifi is available at the courthouse and at local libraries in both Marfa and Presidio.

In his interview, Judge Ferguson commended local residents and lawyers for remaining committed to the local justice system even as courts throughout the region have pivoted online during the coronavirus pandemic.

“People take it seriously, and they treat it with the dignity it deserves,” he said. “They have embraced the advancements in technology as we try to keep our system functioning. Because of that — and because of the efforts of local lawyers — our court is current and has amassed no backlog of cases.”