Headland Promotes to Full-time Magistrate

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The town of Headland is running behind on unprocessed traffic tickets.

Now, they are doing something about it.

The Municipal Court came back to the town of Headland in October 2005.

However, with the move from the Houston County Courthouse, came almost 650 unprocessed citations from where there were no shows in the municipal courts.

The town still hasn't caught up.

In fact, with the magistrate only at part-time, it's gained another 400.

However, city leaders hope that's about to change.

The council recently voted to make the magistrate position full-time to handle the workload.

"I'm very excited about it. It's going to help our case load. It will be beneficial to the city and also to the court system," says City Magistrate, Leigh Ingram.

"The lack of attendance to court made the magistrate work go up, and she could not get it done with the limited hours that she was allocated to do," says Headland Mayor, Reuben Shelley.

Headland may look like it's only farm land as you enter, but city leaders say it's growing fast and that's why they need a full time magistrate.

"Headland's growing and what belongs in Headland or what's generated in Headland, to me, should stay in Headland because that was one of the main reasons that I was asking the council for permission to put the court system on a full 40 hour work week and the benefits that's given to a full time employee," says Mayor Shelley.

Mayor Shelley says only about 60 percent of the people who receive a ticket, show up for court.

Leaders hope with the faster response to the no-shows, that 60 percent will rise.

The full time position will go into effect Monday, January 15th.