Mount Vernon Municipal Court – Mount Vernon, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Mount Vernon Municipal Court INformation

Court: Mount Vernon Municipal Court
Address: “Mount Vernon City Hall 109 N Kaufman St, PO Box 597, Mount Vernon, TX 75457”
Phone: 903-537-3582

City: Mount Vernon
County: Franklin
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Mount Vernon Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Mount Vernon 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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 cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Mount Vernon, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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 Mount Vernon?

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 often known as city courts or town courts. Matters 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 arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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 $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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Mount Vernon, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Mount Vernon Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Mount Vernon Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Mount Vernon Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Mount Vernon, 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 location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

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

The count 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 duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.