Star Harbor Municipal Court – Malakoff, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Star Harbor Municipal Court INformation

Court: Star Harbor Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 949, Malakoff, TX 75148”
Phone: 903-489-0091

City: Malakoff
County: Henderson
State: Texas

What is the role of the Star Harbor Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Star Harbor 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 family law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Malakoff, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 serve their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 Malakoff?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, 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.

Magistrates preside over 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 police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: 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 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 don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Malakoff, TX

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

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

Star Harbor Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Star Harbor Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Malakoff, 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 location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Malakoff, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Star Harbor 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 they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.