Elkhart Municipal Court – Elkhart, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Elkhart Municipal Court INformation

Court: Elkhart Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 944, Elkhart, TX 75839”
Phone: 903-764-5661

City: Elkhart
County: Anderson
State: Texas

What is the role of the Elkhart Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Elkhart 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 contract disputes.

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 larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Elkhart, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. 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 service their people or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Elkhart?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific period of time.

Magistrates preside over 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
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Elkhart, TX

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1000 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Elkhart 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Elkhart Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Elkhart, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Elkhart, 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 Elkhart Municipal Court have?

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

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 they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.