Forney Municipal Court – Forney, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Forney Municipal Court INformation

Court: Forney Municipal Court
Address: “Forney Justice Center 331 S FM 548, PO Box 826, Forney, TX 75126”
Phone: 972-564-7311

City: Forney
County: Kaufman
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Forney Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Forney Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Forney, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level 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 people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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 managed in the municipal court in Forney?

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 popularly known 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 members to serve for a specific 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
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to appear 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 $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Forney, TX

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Forney 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Forney Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Forney, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Forney, 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 Forney 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 sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.