Access


In FY 17 with funding from the State Justice Institute, TMCEC piloted a series of surveys of related to treatment of court users in Texas municipal courts. The results of the surveys were impressive:

Access and Fairness Public Survey:

  • Court users were well satisfied with their ability to find the court, information needed, and the amount of time court business required, as well as the way their cases were handled.
  • Overall the highest ranked response was that court users were treated with dignity and respect.
  • The lowest scores were typically related to the usefulness of the court’s website.

Fairness in Legal Financial Obligations:

  • Members of the public were well satisfied with their level of communication with the judge, treatment by the judge, and level of information provided on next steps.
  • Average response rates did not vary greatly from low, medium, and large volume courts. 

Below are the reports prepared by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC):

On the NCSC website the original surveys may be found [http://www.courtools.org/Trial-Court-Performance-Measures.aspx], as well as the survey results from other states [http://www.courtools.org/Trial-Court-Performance-Measures/Reports-from-Courts.aspx]. These surveys are part of “Courtools,” a set of performance measures developed by NCSC.

TMCEC adapted the NCSC surveys to better reflect Texas law and procedures. The latest versions of the modified surveys are below:

TMCEC greatly appreciates the courts and their staff who participated in this program. It was a positive experience for all and helped these courts measure their performance. 

Tips for offering the survey in your court include:

  • Use clipboards to distribute surveys to the public.
  • Match the survey with the appropriate docket.
  • Use the NCSC or TMCEC spreadsheet to tally responses. (Coming Soon - downloadable spreadsheet, TMCEC versions)
  • Conduct surveys two times a year or annually to compare results.
  • Ask judges and staff to complete the surveys, as well, and compare court users and staff results.
  • Look for the gaps – where is your court ranked highest? lowest? different from staff surveys?

Please share your results with your council and community (and TMCEC: tmcec@tmcec.com). We think you will find it satisfying to know how the public perceives the work of your court.