Kemp Municipal Court – Kemp, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Kemp Municipal Court INformation

Court: Kemp Municipal Court
Address: “Kemp City Hall 304 S Main St, PO Box 449, Kemp, TX 75143”
Phone: 903-498-3191

City: Kemp
County: Kaufman
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Kemp Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Kemp Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, 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 Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Kemp, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts 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 help their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Kemp?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases 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 assist for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local rule 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 answer 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: 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 Kemp, TX

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1k 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Kemp 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 an individual might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Kemp Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Kemp, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Kemp, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Kemp Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.

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 they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.