Van Horn Municipal Court – Van Horn, TX

Oct 28, 2021

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

Van Horn Municipal Court INformation

Court: Van Horn Municipal Court
Address: “1801 W Broadway, PO Box 517, Van Horn, TX 79855”
Phone: 432-283-2050

City: Van Horn
County: Culberson
State: Texas

What is the role of the Van Horn Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Van Horn 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Van Horn, Texas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Van Horn?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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. Cases are managed 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 time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn 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 next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Van Horn, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Van Horn 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 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 courts 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Van Horn Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Van Horn Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Van Horn, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Van Horn, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Van Horn Municipal Court have?

The number 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.