Earth Municipal Court – Earth, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Earth Municipal Court INformation

Court: Earth Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 105, Earth, TX 79031”
Phone: 806-257-2110

City: Earth
County: Lamb
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Earth Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Earth 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 matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Earth, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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 Earth?

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 have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases 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 duration.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Earth, TX

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

A violation is an offense that has 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Earth 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 an individual 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 required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Earth Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Earth, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Earth, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Earth 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 term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.