The following award recipients were nominated by their peers and were recognized for their contribution to the fair and impartial administration of justice at the Annual Conference held in San Marcos, August 24 - 26, 2017.
Outstanding Judge of the Year
The Honorable Judge J. Elaine Marshall of Houston has been selected by the Texas Municipal Courts Association to receive the Association’s Outstanding Judicial Award of the Year.
Judge Marshall is very passionate about making a difference in the lives of our youth. Over her many years on the bench, she has mentored countless girls and boys who have looked to her as a role model in their lives. Under her direction, Teen Court has sparked an interest in public service, criminal justice and legal careers by engaging juvenile participants in the legal process, providing them with an understanding of the juvenile justice system, and learning to apply appropriate sanctions in relation to the offense. Participants hear real cases involving juveniles who have received citations, and they are responsible for determining the sanctions imposed on teen defendants.
Another indicator of her successful administration is the results of the Court's annual Customer and Employee surveys, which both reflect a high level of satisfaction. She supports transparency and accountability by providing a virtual suggestion forum where staff can post questions, complaints, comments and suggestions for improvement anonymously.
Judge Marshall understands the meaning of compassion and fairness. She feels strongly that the City of Houston Municipal Courts should be a beacon of justice for all individuals and has been instrumental in developing programs and initiatives to assist individuals including the Homeless Outreach docket and the Prostitution Diversion docket. These initiatives have assisted many who would not otherwise have a voice to clear their record and move forward in a positive direction. Most recently, she led the Court's Amnesty initiative, encouraging those with outstanding court matters to come to speak with a Judge without fear of arrest, learn about the Court's many options, and benefit from the dismissal of qualifying cases.
Her devotion to public service is evident in her professional career. Prior to being appointed as the Director and Presiding Judge, Judge Marshall has served the City of Houston since 1987, first as a full-time Judge, as the Administrative Judge, and then as the Associate Presiding Judge. Prior to joining the City of Houston, Judge Marshall served as an Assistant District Attorney for Harris County where she developed their office's Child Abuse Section. Judge Marshall was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Finally, she is in her second year as Chair of the State Bar of Texas Municipal Court's Judges Section.
Associate Presiding Judge Esmeralda P. Garcia stated, “it is for all of the above reasons that I submit this nomination for recognition as Outstanding Jurist for 2017. I am certain that Judge Elaine Marshall's accomplishments, leadership, and unparalleled successes exemplify what this award stands for.”
Ms. Milagros Medina, Court Clerk for City of Aransas Pass Municipal Court, has been selected by the Texas Municipal Courts Association to receive the Association’s Clerk of the Year Award.
Ms. Medina gives each person who walks thru the door the same common courtesy and respect. She goes out of her way to assist them. One example of this is her willing to contact other courts when confusion arises from arriving at the wrong court.
Ms. Medina speaks fluent Spanish and has an impeccable appearance. She is very active in her community encouraging others to participate. She works with the Chamber of Commerce, Fall feast and our biggest event "Shrimporee".
Presiding Judge Henrie Morales stated that “she has made a big difference in our Court. .She is always looking for ways to improve and always open minded”.
Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year
Mr. Gary A. Scott, Prosecutor for City of Conroe Municipal Court, has been selected by the Texas Municipal Courts Association to receive the Association’s Prosecutor of the Year Award.
Mr. Gary A. Scott has served as the Prosecutor for the City of Conroe for over 20 years. In addition to his loyal and dedicated employment in public service, Mr. Scott is also the Panorama Judge and active member of the TMCA. He has taught for the Texas Municipal Court Education Center.