Hart Municipal Court – Hart, TX

Oct 28, 2021

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

Hart Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hart Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 329, Hart, TX 79043”
Phone: 806-938-2171

City: Hart
County: Castro
State: Texas

What is the role of the Hart Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Hart Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, the purpose 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, 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 $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hart, Texas

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

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

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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 Hart?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific time period.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and place, 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 $1k or given a jail sentence 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Hart, 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 100% accurate for the Hart Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Hart 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 matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Hart Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hart, Texas?

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

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

The count 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 retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.