Livingston Municipal Court – Livingston, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Livingston Municipal Court INformation

Court: Livingston Municipal Court
Address: “200 W Church St, Livingston, TX 77351”
Phone: 936-327-9322

City: Livingston
County: Polk
State: Texas

What is the role of the Livingston Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Livingston Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the role 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 charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Livingston, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. 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 service their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Livingston?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve 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
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The person 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 answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Livingston, TX

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 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 charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Livingston Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Livingston Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Livingston, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Livingston, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Livingston Municipal Court have?

The number 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 they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.