Clifton Municipal Court – Clifton, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Clifton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Clifton Municipal Court
Address: “403 W 3rd St, PO Box 231, Clifton, TX 76634”
Phone: 254-675-8337

City: Clifton
County: Bosque
State: Texas

What is the role of the Clifton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Clifton Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Clifton, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Clifton?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time period.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Clifton, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Clifton Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1k or one year in jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Clifton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Clifton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Clifton, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Clifton, Texas?

Depending on the size of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Clifton Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.