With over 34 years working as a court administrator for the City of League City, Shirley Murphy can tell you a thing or two about what it’s like being in a courtroom every day. From meeting her now husband at work, to hearing the wildest excuses made to get out of a ticket, we think she has one of the most interesting jobs of all.
How long have you worked for the City?
I’ve worked for the City for almost 34 years, my anniversary is on June 18. I started as deputy court clerk, was promoted to senior deputy court clerk, and in 1989 I became the court administrator. I remember that because that’s when my first child was born. I had to juggle a new baby and a new job!
What does a court administrator do?
I oversee the nine judicial functions of the municipal court. Docket scheduling, overseeing deputy and senior court clerks and the duties of warrant officer.
How did you decide to become a court administrator?
Actually, there was a temporary job position open at the city secretary’s office one summer after I graduated high school. This was supposed to be a summer position until I decided what I wanted to do in my career, so I decided to give it a try. I ended up loving it and I’m here 34 years later! I love the courtroom and working with the public. My staff is wonderful.
What’s one of the most interesting things that has happened to you while working here?
(Laughs) I met my husband in the city, he worked in utility billing. I had only worked here for a few months. He asked me out in the copy room, and we got married about ten months later. We’ve been together ever since.
What does it take to be a court administrator?
You definitely need to be patient and understanding. You need to have thick skin and be able to handle hostile defendants.
Craziest part of your job?
A couple of years ago, a guy came in with four, five-gallon buckets of pennies to pay for a ticket that was at least a couple hundred dollars. We had to dump it out and sit there and count them. The pennies were wet and full of gunk! It took like an entire day and all of the staff to count them. I think the vide of it is still up on YouTube.
Your job can be pretty interesting! What is your favorite part of the job?
The courtroom environment. There’s a lot of different things that can go on in there, it’s very interesting and exciting. You meet different walks of life every day. I like to assist a people and help them turn their lives around. When we get kids who are going in the wrong direction, we try guide them.
Weirdest excuse someone’s made to get out of a ticket?
A lot of people say they were speeding because they had to use the restroom, or they use the “it wasn’t me” excuse.
What do you like doing on your time off?
Spending time with my family and floating the Frio River. I love to go there, we go every year with my mom, children, and grandbaby. He turns two this month and that’s pretty exciting!