Southlake Municipal Court – Southlake, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters inside its area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Southlake Municipal Court INformation

Court: Southlake Municipal Court
Address: “600 State St, #1000, Southlake, TX 76092”
Phone: 817-748-8188

City: Southlake
County: Tarrant
State: Texas

What is the role of the Southlake Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courts like Southlake 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, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Southlake, 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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Southlake?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, 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 serve for a specific duration.

Magistrates manage 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 law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to be present 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence 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 Southlake, TX

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Southlake Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter 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 Southlake Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Southlake, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters 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 Southlake, Texas?

Depending on the scope 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 Southlake 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 sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.