Felony case court backlog created by jury service moratorium due to pandemic hits 66%

Misdemeanor case backlog also hits record high numbers

SAN ANTONIO – The limitation of having only remote hearings in Bexar County District and County Court at Law courtrooms due to the pandemic has resulted in what Local Administrative Judge Ron Rangel said is “an alarming backlog in the justice system.”

There are currently 9,586 pending indicted felony cases compared to 5,758 in March of 2020, which amounts to a 66% increase, Rangel said.

Pending indicted misdemeanor cases have also soared.

There were 25,103 in March, and currently there are 32,073 pending cases, including fugitive cases.

Asked whether the numbers will accelerate when in-person jury trials resume, Rangel said, “I want to make sure that before we delve into starting in person jury trials that the local health conditions indicate that we’re at a certain level that’s here to stay.”

Rangel said once that level is reached, things will begin to move quickly.

”Not only will we have jury trials at a very fast clip, I think the individual parties are going to come to agreement fairly rapidly,” he said.

About the Authors: