Covington Municipal Court – Covington, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Covington Municipal Court INformation

Court: Covington Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 443, Covington, TX 76636”
Phone: 254-854-2373

City: Covington
County: Hill
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Covington Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Covington Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Covington, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Covington?

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

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Covington, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Covington Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Covington Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Covington, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Covington, Texas?

Depending on the scope 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Covington Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing material every period to maintain their licenses.