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City Court Information

The mission of the City Courts Department is to provide a forum for citizens to have their matters heard in a fair, efficient, convenient, and timely manner. The public courts for the hearing of common problems of the citizens and charging individuals with violations of state law and/or City ordinances of United States are the City Courts. They are better referred to as the Municipal Courts or City Municipal Courts as it is the work of the Municipalities to control city based records and city-based courts.

The duties of the judiciary of City Courts include the adjudication of cases, the setting of fines, not otherwise set by state law or city ordinance, the provision of magistrate services for law enforcement agencies, and coordinating the administrative operations of the court. The jurisdiction of the courts extends to misdemeanor cases where the maximum punishment is by fine only. City Courts are in session from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays. Key operational areas are open from Monday to Saturday, 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. City Traffic Court and other arraignments are held on Mondays at 2:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. On a daily basis, the Municipal Courts serve approximately 8,000 citizens who appear in person, handle 3,000 telephone inquiries, and respond to 1,800 by mail.

The City Courts Administration Department's stated purpose is to accurately, expeditiously, and courteously perform the ministerial duties required in the due process of adjudication of both misdemeanor violations and the State law, as well as local ordinances filed in the City's Municipal Courts. The Municipal Courts Administration Department is also responsible for the Management of Curb-side parking within the Central Business District, and TEA certified instruction for Juveniles cited for Alcohol/Tobacco violations.

By statute, the City Municipal Court keeps minutes of the court proceedings, issues processes and performs other duties such as providing official records of all case transactions, as well as fines and fees collected, for each term of court, and depositing them in the City treasury. Monthly Court statistics along with the City Court Public Records are reported to the Office of the State of Court Administration.

Other Municipal Court duties provided by statute includes keeping a record of each case involving a moving violation on highways, Reporting the conviction or forfeiture of bail to the DPS, Forwarding the Court records to the appellate court when a defendant appeals, Docketing bond forfeiture cases on the civil docket, Sending a copy of any emergency protection order to an absent victim of family violence, Notifying various agencies (especially state agencies) of specific Court dates.

The recent Municipal Court Statewide Statistics reveals that there have been a total number of 6,487,216 cases in the City Court Records in the year 2008 of which 2,745,154 were parking offences. In the City Traffic Courts, there were 2,745,154 of Non-DWI Traffic/Moving Offenses such as speeding, failure to yield, etc. Disorderly and Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses (DP/PDP) i.e. domestic violence were recorded 417,689 times while Other Non-Traffic Offenses including local ordinance, fish and game were registered 295,409 times. 206,033 serious criminal matters in Municipal Court were transferred to Superior Court. These are known as Indictable Offenses. There had been 38,252 cases filed for Driving while Intoxicated (DWI).