A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.
Houston Municipal Court INformation
Court: Houston Municipal Court
Address: “120 E Madison St, PO Box 548, Houston, MS 38851”
What is the role of the Houston Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Houston Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.
In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil matters.
TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Houston, Mississippi
Municipal courts are the lowest 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 service their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what makes 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
what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Houston?
Judges preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge
The Process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Houston, MS
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Houston Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Houston Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.
Common Questions ABOUT the Houston Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Houston, Mississippi?
In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Houston, Mississippi?
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 Houston Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?
A municipal court 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 population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.