Dedicated to the Fair and Impartial Administration of Justice by Providing Quality Education, Assistance, and Support for Municipal Courts across the State of Texas.

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Judicial Awards


2020 Judicial Awards

 

The following award recipients were nominated by their peers and recognized for their contribution to the fair and impartial administration of justice at the Annual Meeting held virtually on July 23, 2020.  

 

Outstanding Judge of the Year 

The Honorable Dick H. Gregg, III of Seabrook has been selected by the Texas Municipal Courts Association to receive the Association’s Jurist of the Year Award.   Here are a few reasons why as submitted by his peers.

 

I have worked with exceptional judges, but no as driven as Judge Gregg.

As if he was not already busy, he became our Presiding Judge in March 2019 in addition to appointments in Morgan's Point, Dickinson and Clearlake Shores.

Although Seabrook's court has been paper-lite for many years, he challenged our department with additional technology to allow for exceptional customer service, efficiency and effectiveness.

He teamed up with court staff to launch a full telework plan that  allowed staff to be safe and work from home.

If you witness his patience and professionalism on the bench, you will absolutely see that he loves what he does.

 

 

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Thank you very much for the Outstanding Jurist of the Year award.  I am deeply honored.  I have spent my entire career, 28 years now, partially in the municipal courts.  I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Government and subsequently graduated from South Texas College of Law with my Doctorate of Jurisprudence.  I began my career in 1992 with my father, Dick H. Gregg, Jr. who has been an amazing mentor.  He truly has been and continues to be a master of municipal law.  He serves as city attorney for multiple cities in the region.  While he never had a role in the municipal courts, he encouraged me as a new lawyer to prosecute once a month at night court in Kemah, Galveston County, Texas.  Of course, that city has blossomed with the magnificent boardwalk and entertainment district.  The once a month night court turned into several court dates each month during the day.  I still prosecute for them today.  That role lead to many other prosecutor and city attorney roles in the Southeast part of Harris County and Galveston County.  In 2001, Current Harris County Precinct 8 -2 Justice of the Peace Louie Ditta was also presiding judge in La Porte, Texas.  He recommended that their city council hire me as an Associate Judge.  I gratefully accepted the role.  In 2012, I was asked to also become the Associate  Judge for the City of Seabrook.  I was honored to serve with Judge Carolyn Webbon, who after a couple of years, decided to divide the primary workload with me in that city so that she may spend more time with her family.  For several years, I learned along her side, until she decided to retire and I was promoted to the position of Presiding Judge.  Very shortly thereafter, I was asked by several other cities to serve as either their Presiding Judge or as an Associate Judge.  Today, I am very honored to serve many of the surrounding communities as Judge, including League City, Dickinson, Clear Lake Shores, Morgan’s Point, and of course the original two cities, La Porte and Seabrook.  To be recognized by my peers for all the hard work is a wonderful feeling.  This year has been incredibly challenging to continue to operate multiple courts virtually.  In my opinion, the courts where I have had a hand in leading have been very effective and efficient during such hard times.  - Dick H. Gregg, III

 


 
 
Outstanding Clerk of the Year 
 

Sonya Cates, Court Administrator for the City of Alvin Municipal Court, was selected by the Texas Municipal Courts Association to receive the Association’s Clerk of the Year Award.  Here are a few of the reasons why as submitted by her peers.

 

Sonya continues to work diligently and professionally the last 23 years to establish integrity and justice in many Texas Judicial Courts.  

She has been instrumental for five consecutive M.T.S.I. Awards and one honorable mention during the short time she has been with the City of Alvin.  

The City of Alvin has benefited from her determination and dedication with implementing the development and operation for one of the first Video Magistration software programs in the state.

In an effort to address the issue of compliance and state judicial standards, she coordinated the concept of recording and making a judicial proceeding available to the public in "real time" through a live-stream with the expertise of a local community college that could be viewed on each municipality's website.

She continues to coordinate juvenile programs with other cities and school districts to provide resources and alternatives for juveniles at risk.  

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I'm extremely humbled and honored to have been selected. Receiving this award means a lot to me, and I will continue my journey in helping others. This is a great accomplishment for me and my career. Currently, the Court Administrator for the City of Alvin Municipal Court; over the past two decades, I've also worked for the City of Galena Park, Webster, and La Porte. I'm a Certified Level 2 Court Clerk and Certified Court Manager. During my tenure with the City of Alvin, the court has won the M.T.S.I. Award for five consecutive years, and we strive to stay involved with the community. I also coordinate a juvenile program for the City of La Porte called the R.O.C.K. Program. I have a passion for helping juveniles and others when there is a need. - Sonya Cates