Galena Park Municipal Court – Galena Park, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Galena Park Municipal Court INformation

Court: Galena Park Municipal Court
Address: “City Hall 2000 Clinton Dr, Galena Park, TX 77547”
Phone: 713-672-2556

City: Galena Park
County: Harris
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Galena Park 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 Galena Park 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Galena Park, 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 people or to save money on expenditures. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 Galena Park?

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. Matters are managed 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.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to be present 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Galena Park, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1000 or one year in local 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 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.

Galena Park Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Galena Park Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Galena Park, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Galena Park, 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 Galena Park 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 retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.