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What are the best ways to deliver court services since the pandemic?

Project ended: January 1, 2023
Department or Agency: San Antonio Municipal Court

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Project Overview


This project focuses on the determinants of failures to appear (FTA), and a need to explore best practices in reaching or communicating with FTAs, as well as preferences for case resolution.

The court has experienced much higher FTA rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, marginalized or disadvantaged persons experience court outcomes that are more punitive due to missed court dates, prolonged case times due to resets, etc., not necessarily because their cases are more serious but because they lack the time, knowledge and/or access to necessary court information to resolve their case in a timely and satisfactory manner. This may have become even more pronounced in the last two years due to loss of employment, housing, and/or illnesses exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project will assist the CoSA Municipal Court in fulfilling their mission to serve all populations with necessary court services and in delivery of just and equitable outcomes for all.

Please see the final report here: Municipal Court Final Report.


  • A list of best practices for court processes and service delivery gathered from a review of current literature and analyses of the existing court survey and internal case tracking system data.

Planned use of results

  • Results will inform what channels the San Antonio Municipal Court uses to reach residents during the pandemic and beyond.

The project is complete.

We’re eager to learn how you use the results and welcome any questions.

Project point of contact

Fred Garcia

Municipal Court Clerk

San Antonio Municipal Court

Project Team

Fred Garcia

Municipal Court Clerk

San Antonio Municipal Court

Edinia Espinoza

Management Analyst

City of San Antonio

Dr. Richard Hartley

Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice

University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Branco Ponomariov

Department of Public Administration

University of Texas at San Antonio

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