Rice Municipal Court – Rice, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Rice Municipal Court INformation

Court: Rice Municipal Court
Address: “205 E Calhoun, PO Box 97, Rice, TX 75155”
Phone: 903-326-7511

City: Rice
County: Navarro
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Rice Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Rice Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Rice, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry 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 help their people or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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 handled in the municipal court in Rice?

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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. 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 board to serve for a specific duration.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, 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.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Rice, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 courthouses 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.

Rice Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Rice Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Rice, Texas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Rice, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Rice Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

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 retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.