Fort Stockton Municipal Court – Fort Stockton, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters within its location. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Fort Stockton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Fort Stockton Municipal Court
Address: “121 W Second, Fort Stockton, TX 79735”
Phone: 432-336-8525

City: Fort Stockton
County: Pecos
State: Texas

What is the role of the Fort Stockton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Fort Stockton Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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 felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Fort Stockton, 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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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 managed in the municipal court in Fort Stockton?

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 managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific duration.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions 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 scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons 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 $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Fort Stockton, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge 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 prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Fort Stockton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Fort Stockton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Fort Stockton, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Fort Stockton, Texas?

Depending on the area 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Fort Stockton 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 evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing material every period to maintain their credentials.