Williamson County is looking to add two new justice courts, the Commissioner Court approved on Jan. 26.
The county will request state legislative approval to add a new district court and a new county court of law, officials said. Currently, the county has five district courts and four county courts at law.
“In the past 10 years in Williamson County, population soared,” 425th District Court Judge Betsy Lambeth said. “We've gone from a mostly rural community to an urban community, and our justice system needs to grow with it.”
According to the agenda item, the increased growth has added court workload. Lambeth said the plan is to put the courts online in two years using two budget cycles to ensure there is funding to support the new courts.
The two courts will be general jurisdiction courts, which means they will not be specific to family or civil cases, to allow for the caseload to be moved around as needed, officials said.
“It doesn't make sense for us to ask for a specific family court or criminal court because as we grow, we need the ability to move those jurisdictions around,” Lambeth said.
Lambeth added that the new courts will allow judges to specializes in the cases they hear. She also said additional staff in the district and county attorneys’ office will not be needed because of the new courts. However, she had no comment as to whether an increase in workload will create the need for additional staff.