Memphis Municipal Court – Memphis, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Memphis Municipal Court INformation

Court: Memphis Municipal Court
Address: “721 Robertson St, Memphis, TX 79245”
Phone: 806-259-3539

City: Memphis
County: Hall
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Memphis Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Memphis 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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Memphis, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 help their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Memphis?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and 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 secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term 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 Memphis, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has 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 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Memphis Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 case they have in front of 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 Memphis Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Memphis, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Memphis, Texas?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Memphis 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 judged according to population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.