When it comes to traffic tickets, Gregg County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Talyna Carlson said, she generally goes by the rules of baseball: three strikes and you’re out.
But not always.
Carlson and the Kilgore Police Department will have a “Show Cause” hearing at 10 a.m. July 11 at the municipal court – located in the KPD building at 909 N. Kilgore Street – to give people a chance to explain why they have not completed their payment, community service or defensive driving within the allotted time.
Letters were sent out to the 521 people who will be allowed to explain their circumstances to Carlson Tuesday.
For some people this will be their third or, in some cases, fourth chance to appear before Carlson.
Carlson listens to their stories, she said, noting she will grant extensions to some but not for others.
“I try to be really fair and understanding but when they just won’t do anything it gets to the point where I have to take some other kind of action,” she said.
For people who were put on a payment plan for any fines, they can complete their payments Monday, July 10 and skip seeing Carlson Tuesday. Those who are unable to complete the payment before the hearing, though, may be given a new payment plan. Information on what each person lacks is included in the letter they received.
“We do work with them on paying the fines that they owe, so it’s not a hardship on them or a hardship on the City of Kilgore issuing all those warrants,” she said. “My goal is to work it out where everyone is fairly satisfied.”
Warrants will be issued for people who do not pay off their fines and do not show up to the hearing. Carlson emphasized the invitation to appear at the hearing is not a round up.
“I don’t trap people,” she said. “It’s against my southern upbringing… People who come in and have traffic warrants, I work with them and they are not arrested, unless they are disrespectful or disruptive in the court room.”
In general, Carlson expects only a small percentage of the 521 people to appear before her, but said, “If they all show up, I’m going to take care of all of them,” even if it means staying in the courtroom until midnight.