Tarrant County

Tarrant County Rolls Out New Court Software

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Tarrant County rolled out its new court software system over the weekend.

The development took more than 10 years and $26 million in tax dollars. Commissioners met Tuesday to get an update on the launch. The county administrator, clerk and district clerk said despite a few glitches, they viewed the rollout as a success.

But Precinct 4 Commissioner Alisa Simmons pushed back, citing complaints with e-filing and requesting an in-person demonstration.

“If it works, it works. Show us,” Simmons said.

The new court software system is a long time coming.

In 2011, Tarrant County signed on with Dallas County to fund and develop TechsShare software. Dallas and others ultimately left the deal, citing problems and rising costs.

Tarrant County stayed and spent $26 million developing the software.

“I would characterize this as a significant waste, not an investment,” said Simmons.

County commissioners Tuesday debated what to do with the software and their TechShare agreement, questioning if the software could be sold to other counties to recoup some of Tarrant County’s costs.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Manny Ramirez questioned the county’s role in software development going forward.

“Government has no business running a private company,” Ramirez said. “We need to determine the best route forward so we’re not subsidizing a company that is essentially just production for us.”

Action was delayed until TechShare could answer questions regarding annual maintenance costs and any business or marketing plans to sell the software.

“It’s pretty clear that we have a local government corporation essentially trying to run a private company, which I think is a bad idea to begin with. But we’re here and we got to deal with it,” said County Judge Tim O’Hare.

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