Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 Fort Worth Reporter
Getting a parking or traffic ticket often means spending a lot of time at the municipal court building in downtown Fort Worth, but the city has a new, faster way for residents to fight a ticket without leaving home.
Getting a parking or traffic ticket often means spending a lot of time at the municipal court building in downtown Fort Worth. But now you can fight a ticket without ever leaving the house.
It is often a hassle to come to the downtown municipal court building near City Hall, especially during the work day.
"Absolutely, the gas, the time -- [it's] ridiculous, very frustrating," Richard Bryson said. "I live in Mineral Wells now, and it's just frustrating having to travel an hour each time."
"The streets are one ways, and it's hard finding your way to the building," Veronica Banks said. "You have to pay to park and, if you don't, [if] you go over (your paid time), they'll put a ticket on your window."
But the municipal court expanded its online capabilities on Tuesday.
You could always pay off a ticket online, but now you can challenge one.
Within a week of being issued the ticket, you can state your case in writing online to a hearing officer. If you don't like the result, you can appeal, although that will cost you a small fee.
The new features on the city website also allow you to schedule a court date, request to take driver's school or choose to go on probation. Previously, those things could only be done in person.
"We expect that the citizen will be able to minimize the amount of time spent driving to a court location, as well as cost for parking to visit our downtown location and potentially any mailing costs," William Rumuly, clerk of the court, said in an e-mailed response to questions. "Bottom line, it saves the citizen time and money and encourages compliance."
The website also can be used on a mobile device and can be translated into Spanish.
"The court and the city continues to look for ways to improve accessibility to the public and embrace the opportunities presented by technology," Rumuly said.
The new website feature will be mentioned on new tickets that were just issued to agencies that write them. In the meantime, signs about the website are posted on the municipal court's outer doors to inform citizens, who seem to like the idea.
"I say, it would be a great help," Angel Sanchez said. "I wouldn't have to come down here all the time."
"Yeah, something I would like to be able to work with, paying online," Banks said.
"It's a brilliant idea," Bryson said.
The city has been working to get more people to pay their fines, often holding warrant roundups to do so.
For more on the website click here.