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El Paso Municipal Court working to alleviate backlog in cash refunds

The El Paso Municipal Court is working to alleviate a backlog in cash refunds.

Officials at the municipal courthouse tell ABC-7 their ticket department switched over to a new software system in November. They tell ABC-7 the old system processed cash and credit card refunds but the new system only issues credit card and check refunds. They say cash refunds now take longer because those checks must be be cut and mailed out to the city for approval.

“They’re behind and that’s understandable but they can always hire temporary help or come up with a different solution. We shouldn’t have to pay the price of them switching to a new system. Or they should have the authority to issue cash refunds in the meantime they transition,” Martha Carmona said.

Carmona tells ABC-7 her ticket for $150 was dismissed in June but was told it would take at least four to six weeks for her cash refund to process. She says when she called this week to ask about the status of her refund, she was told it would take an additional two weeks.

“It is very frustrating for me to wait that long for my refund. $150 shouldn’t take 6-8 weeks to be back because they’re very quick at collecting and very slow at refunding,” Carmona said.

The department says in order to help alleviate the backlog, they’re issuing cash refunds directly at the courthouse. An official tells ABC-7 they’ve notified customers via email and over the phone. Carmona says she received her refund Wednesday but says it’s frustrating she was forced to wait so long.

“It can go a long way when you go buy groceries and it shouldn’t take that long to process,” Carmona said.

City officials tell ABC-7 500 refunds are waiting to be processed. They vary between $100 and $300. They say they do not know how long the temporary process will be in effect but say a long-term solution being contemplated is for the court to print checks on site. They add they do have not plans to replace their current system.

If you have a cash refund pending, you can visit the municipal courthouse.

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