Meet the new Katy municipal court clerk
Katy City Council on Feb. 25 approved an ordinance appointing Faviola Rodriguez as the municipal court clerk.
Rodriguez has worked for the city since November 2013 starting as a deputy court clerk. She is certified municipal court clerk through the Texas Municipal Courts Association and succeeds Sherri Brandt, who had served as Court Administrator since 2007.
How long have you lived in the Katy area? What brought you to Katy?
My family and I moved to Katy from Mexico in 1994. I attended Hutsell Elementary, Katy Junior High and Katy High School. Katy is a beautiful city and I am proud to call it home.
Did you have experience working in other municipal courts before coming to Katy?
Yes. I worked for the city of Fulshear prior to working for the city of Katy. The court clerk there trained me on some court procedures in order for me to help when she was not available.
What kind of training/education does a person need to be a municipal court clerk? Are you required to periodically update training to keep up with changes in the laws?
We attend seminars and clinics provided by the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, Texas Courts Clerk Association and Texas Municipal Court Association. The classes keep us up to date with procedures and laws. There are 3 levels of certification for a municipal court clerk. A certain amount of education hours have to be completed yearly in order to maintain certification once Level 1 is obtained. Currently, I am a certified Court Clerk Level 2 and I am working on my Level 3.
What is a typical day for a municipal court clerk?
It varies from day to day. In general, we help defendants that come in, call and email with questions on their citations. We process paperwork and follow up on cases. The Municipal Courts see more cases than all other courts combined. The work for one citation does not end when a defendant comes in and signs up for a driving safety course, deferred disposition or a payment plan. We touch a case several times before it closes. There is a lot of work involved behind the scene to keep up with with all the cases.
What are the main functions of the job?
Oversee the operation of the court. Conduct ongoing training for deputy court clerks. Assist the judge in the courtroom. Ensure compliance with the State of Texas requirements and laws. Run and audit state reports to make sure cases are being processed to courts’ expectations. Oversee and participate in a variety of administrative tasks, including customer service, document processing, records management and revenue processing. Monitor and ensure the accuracy and completeness of paperwork. Participate in preparing and/or processing complaints, subpoenas, summons and warrants.
How many people work in the municipal court?
At the moment four, including me. We are about to get a new deputy court clerk in April. We are very excited to get our fifth team member.
What kinds of cases are heard in municipal court?
Class C misdemeanor violations. Most common Class C misdemeanors are traffic/moving violations but we also see theft, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and assault cases.
How has the caseload changed in the city of Katy since you first started working there? Are there certain types of cases that have increased more than other categories?
Katy is growing so along with it our caseload is growing as well. Since the law changed back in 2015 for the value of stolen property less than $50 to less than $100 for a Class C misdemeanor theft violation, we have seen the increase in cases because they are no longer going to the county.
When not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I enjoy spending time with my 3-year-old daughter and my husband. I also joined a crossfit gym a couple of months ago. It helps me de-stress after a long day’s work.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If a person has outstanding cases with our court, please reach out to us. We can give them information about options they have. We have open court dates available that they can come in to take care of their cases. We also have a Facebook where we post the dates. Visit www.facebook.com/cityofkatymunicipalcourt for details.