Shepherd Municipal Court – Shepherd, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Shepherd Municipal Court INformation

Court: Shepherd Municipal Court
Address: “11020 Hwy 150, Shepherd, TX 77371”
Phone: 936-628-3305

City: Shepherd
County: San Jacinto
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Shepherd Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Shepherd Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, 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 infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Shepherd, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 service their people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Shepherd?

Municipal courts are the entry 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. 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 members to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual 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 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 $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Shepherd, 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 Shepherd Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1k 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 offenses. 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.

Shepherd 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Shepherd Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Shepherd, Texas?

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

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

How many judges does the Shepherd Municipal Court have?

The count 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 retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their licenses.