Thursday, August 19, 2021

Downtown Austin Community Court to Relocate Services to One Texas Center

Court to close Aug. 23 and reopen at new location Aug. 30

Effective Monday, August 30, 2021, Downtown Austin Community Court (DACC) operations will be temporarily relocated to One Texas Center (OTC), 505 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704. To accommodate the transition, DACC services will be closed Monday, August 23 through Friday, August 27.

During the temporary closure, the same process that is used outside of regular business hours, and during holidays and unanticipated closures will be used when an arrest is made for an offense that falls within DACC's purview. Individuals will be taken to Travis County Central Booking and given a release to appear at DACC at a later date. When they do appear at DACC, they will be magistrated and have access to triage case management and DACC's array or social services. 

DACC's mission is to administer justice equitably and compassionately to foster trust and accountability, and to utilize a client-centered and housing-focused intensive case management model to help individuals experiencing homelessness achieve long-term stability. DACC also provides voluntary walk-in services connecting individuals to basic needs such as referrals to social services, enrolling in public benefits, obtaining identification documents, and accessing more community-based resources.

Virtual judicial services and case management have been delivered from the Terrazas Branch Library on a temporary basis during the pandemic, while administrative staff members and walk-in magistration services have operated from a leased space at 719 East 6th Street.  DACC must vacate both locations, as the Terrazas Branch Library prepares to reopen to the public. The owner of 719 East 6th St. requested that DACC vacate by the end of September due to new plans for the building. 

OTC is a City-owned building located in the downtown area along multiple bus routes.  It houses six City departments and as many as 1,000 employees. After reviewing the limited available City-owned spaces, staff determined that OTC is best suited to accommodate DACC's operational needs with minimal renovations and cost.  

OTC will serve as an interim location for approximately two years while DACC's long-term location is identified and prepared. The long-term location for DACC is expected to be announced this fall.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to join our fellow City employees at One Texas Center and to continue providing essential services while we work to identify a long-term location for Downtown Austin Community Court," said Peter Valdez, Director of Downtown Austin Community Court. 

DACC will begin offering its full range of case management and court services once it reopens from the first floor at One Texas Center at 8 a.m., Monday, August 30. DACC will also continue administering all COVID-19 healthy and safety protocols.

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