West University Place Municipal Court – West University Place, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

West University Place Municipal Court INformation

Court: West University Place Municipal Court
Address: “3800 University Blvd, West University Place, TX 77005”
Phone: 713-662-5825

City: West University Place
County: Harris
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the West University Place Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like West University Place Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in West University Place, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry 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 serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 West University Place?

Municipal courts are the first 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. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time period.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to appear 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time 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 West University Place, 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 accurate for the West University Place Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1000 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

West University Place Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the West University Place Municipal Court

What is municipal court in West University Place, 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 jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in West University Place, 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 West University Place Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court 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 evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.