Willis Municipal Court – Willis, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Willis Municipal Court INformation

Court: Willis Municipal Court
Address: “200 N Bell, Willis, TX 77378”
Phone: 936-856-4611

City: Willis
County: Montgomery
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Willis Municipal Court?

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

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Willis, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 assist their people or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Willis?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 members 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 defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court 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 fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Willis, TX

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge 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 crimes in municipal courts 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Willis Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person 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 required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Willis Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Willis, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Willis, 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Willis 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.