Van Municipal Court – Van, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Van Municipal Court INformation

Court: Van Municipal Court
Address: “189 S Maple, PO Box 487, Van, TX 75790”
Phone: 903-963-3372

City: Van
County: Van Zandt
State: Texas

What is the role of the Van Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Van 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 law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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 larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Van, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts 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 serve their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Van?

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. Matters are managed 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.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse 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 from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual 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 never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Van, 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 Van Municipal Court. 

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

Van Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location 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 kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Van Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Van, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts 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 Van, 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 Van 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 chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their credentials.