BULLHEAD CITY — The limited jurisdiction courts of Mohave County — the municipal courts and justice courts — are getting a much-needed upgrade in their case management system.
But in order to do that, each court affected will have to shut down for the update.
In the case of the Bullhead City Municipal Court, which handles cases involving traffic citations, city ordinance violations, criminal misdemeanors and other issues, the conversion will take place at the end of February. As a result, the court will be closed on Friday but should reopen March 2.
That means anyone with court business that must be completed by Friday — for example, paying a fine that is due or overdue, or making an appearance in court to answer a charge or citation — actually must complete it by end of business on Thursday.
“In order for us to prepare for this conversion, they are shutting down our computers on Friday, Feb. 28,” said Melissa Solano, court administrator for the municipal court next to the Bullhead City Police Department in the Bullhead City Administration Complex. “One thing that I’d like to encourage people to do is come in and take care of (pending issues). They need to do it before the new system kicks in.”
Court payments may be made online. Requests for protective orders, another service of the municipal court, can be presented at the Bullhead City Justice Court on Friday.
Solano said the case management system upgrade is “long overdue.”
“This system we have now is so outdated,” she said. “At least the early 2000s.”
Solano said the new system will streamline the record-keeping and notice-generation processes, among other improvements in efficiency.
“There will be a lot more processes that go on automatically,” she said.
The new system can suspend a driver license automatically for an overdue unpaid citation or generate an arrest warrant for failure to appear — as opposed to needing human intervention previously for both of those processes.
“The system is going to be set up to give a very short grace period,” Solano said, “so it’s important that people take care of things in a timely manner.”
She said staff is undergoing training on the new system.
“We are still learning,” she said. “So be patient. We’re going to do the best we can.”
“This system will be much better — once we get used to it,” said Presiding Magistrate Peter Psareas.
Psareas said he would try to exercise common sense when dealing with any potential glitches in the system or how it is implemented.
“They won’t always like what I do, but I try to be fair,” he said. “If you take the time to contact us, things usually will work out much better than if you ignore them.”