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Local judge addresses future of COVID-19 citations

What’s next for those who have upcoming court dates now that the governor loosened restrictions?
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 3:22 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - In the past year, 503 citations were issued to people in Laredo for face mask violations, and 1,243 citations were handed out for other COVID-19 violations including curfew, social distancing and business capacity.

Nearly half are outstanding cases, so what’s next for those who have upcoming court dates now that the governor loosened restrictions?

Some people have been cited for not wearing a mask, some have been cited for being out past the city-ordered curfew, and some have been cited for not social distancing at restaurants.

Whatever the case may be, those citations have landed people in court.

”I’ll listen to their arguments, but remember under governor’s order #29, it’s a $250 fine,” said Judge Jesus Dominguez.

Municipal court Judge Jesus Dominguez says he will review each citation on a case by case basis.

Anyone cited prior to March 10, which is when the governor’s new order goes into effect, will still have their day in court.

Citations will stop after March 10.

Overall, the number of citations for not wearing a mask were relatively low, according to Judge Dominguez.

”People in Laredo have been good for the most part. They follow the law.”

The municipal court is preparing a plan to reopen to the public, possibly in April or May.

For now, Judge Dominguez says he thinks more people should have gotten vaccinated before lifting the mask mandate.

”Just follow the science. If it’s telling you wear your mask, it’s for a reason.”

Although more than 1,700 citations were handed out for COVID-19 violations, Judge Dominguez says the most citations handed out during the pandemic are for traffic violations, such as speeding and driving without a license.

Anyone with questions about their court hearing can contact the municipal court at 956-794-1680.

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