Each year, the City of Tyler Municipal Court hears a significant number of cases from high school and college students.
To educate students on making good choices and the consequences of bad ones, the court recently launched an outreach program on the college and high school campuses in Tyler.
The Tyler Junior College Student Senate hosted an event on Tuesday, with Presiding Judge Amy McCullough – a TJC alumna – offering a frank discussion, along with a healthy dose of reality and legal advice, on issues most concerning to college students.
“Our objective is to educate you generally about the court, explain how to avoid citations and guide you through the process of receiving and resolving a citation,” McCullough said. “We have court remedies specifically for students and offer several options in satisfaction of judgments.”
She stressed the importance of meeting deadlines when taking care of fines.
“First and foremost, don’t miss your court date,” she said, “because that is going create more trouble for you and it’s not worth it. Additional charges can be filed which will make matters much worse.”
McCullough and Alternate Judge Jim Huggler agreed that they will work with people who put forth a good faith effort to take care of their fines and issues, including substituting community service hours to work off their judgment.
“If you show us along the way that you are making a good faith effort, we will work with you all along the process,” she said. “It’s people who blow it off and don’t take care of these things quickly who get into trouble. It can mushroom so quickly, and it doesn’t need to happen.”
About Judge Amy McCullough
McCullough, a Tyler native, graduated from TJC in 1981. She credits her experiences in music and theater at TJC for laying the foundation for success and teaching her valuable life lessons that have been helpful in her legal career: taking and giving direction, working as a team player, being prepared to perform—sometimes on short notice.
After finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Mississippi, she received her master’s degree from Oklahoma University. She later joined Baker and Botts law firm in Houston as a paralegal, a move that led her to pursue her own law degree.
McCullough has served as a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office in Houston and as city attorney for the City of Pearland. After living in California with her family, she and her husband, David, moved to Tyler to raise their two sons. She was appointed as presiding judge in Tyler Municipal Court in 2017.
She is a past president of the TJC Alumni Association. She is also involved in many community organizations and is a member of Green Acres Baptist Church.