402nd District court resumes in-person hearings

By Larry Tucker
editor@wood.cm
Posted 4/1/21

402nd District Court Judge Brad McCampbell is looking forward to fully getting back in his courtroom for in-person proceedings.

When McCampbell came into office in January, trials by jury had been …

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402nd District court resumes in-person hearings

Posted

402nd District Court Judge Brad McCampbell is looking forward to fully getting back in his courtroom for in-person proceedings.

When McCampbell came into office in January, trials by jury had been suspended since about a year ago.

“I never had an in-person hearing until last week,” he said. “Before that, everything was Zoom (internet video program). I want to get back to in-person court, but there are some things we will still have to Zoom. For instance, there is a divorce case where they are in Japan in the military, so we will Zoom that one.”

McCampbell said the first jury trial is set for the first week of May. “I’m ready to get going; we have such a big backlog.”

The judge said he has been enjoying his time so far as district judge.

“I am having a good time, but like anything else there is a learning curve. The toughest part for us was coming in and getting everything set up electronically,” the judge noted. “Zoom was tough to keep going because we had to start from scratch there. That has been an adjustment. It’s pretty much what I had expected and I enjoy it. Some of the decisions have already been pretty tough. You are dealing with people’s lives and you have to make some tough decisions.”

McCampbell added, “The people here in the courthouse have been extremely helpful. The district clerk’s office has really been so nice and helpful as has the DA’s office.”

McCampbell said the jail was full when he took over the bench, and some for a long time.

“In light of COVID, we have been trying to have hearings to determine if they’re entitled to a lower bond,” he said. “Since the DA’s office has not been able to move on some of the cases, people are staying longer and it’s taking longer to get them indicted because of COVID. If they are not indicted within 90 days they are basically entitled to a PR (personal recognizance) bond.”

The first jury trial has been set for May 3.