Westlake Municipal Court – Westlake, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Westlake Municipal Court INformation

Court: Westlake Municipal Court
Address: “1301 Solana Blvd, Bldg 4, #4207, Westlake, TX 76262”
Phone: 817-430-0861

City: Westlake
County: Tarrant
State: Texas

What is the role of the Westlake Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Westlake 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Westlake, Texas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 help their people or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Westlake?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are managed 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.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, 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: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Westlake, TX

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Westlake 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 in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Westlake Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Westlake, 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 location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Westlake, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Westlake Municipal Court have?

The count 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.