Friday, November 11, 2011
Bryan concludes celebration of Municipal Courts Week
The Bryan Municipal Court celebrated Municipal Courts Week from November 7-11. Over the course of the week, Court staff celebrated by hosting student tours of the Justice Center, hosting a staff potluck lunch, hosting a mock trial with participants from Jane Long Middle School’s Teen Court Program, and judging a Court-themed coloring contest. Also during the week, on Tuesday, November 8, the Bryan City Council presented Court staff with a proclamation in their honor.
The celebration of Municipal Courts Week was also a good opportunity to educate residents about the importance of our local Municipal Court.
In fact, more citizens come into personal contact with municipal courts than with all other Texas courts combined. The reason for the vast majority of appearances is for traffic citations. For most citizens—whether appearing as a defendant, witness, or juror—this may be their only personal contact with the judicial system, and as such, this contact in municipal court will form a lasting impression of the justice system as a whole.
Presently, municipal courts are operating in approximately 923 cities in Texas. These courts have original and exclusive jurisdiction over violations of city ordinances and the resolutions, rules, and orders of a joint airport board that occur in the territorial jurisdiction of the city and on property owned by the city in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Municipal Courts handle class C violations arising out of the, Penal Code, Transportation Code, Education Code, Alcohol Beverage Code, Health & Safety Code, and City Ordinances. Each of these violations has a minimum and a maximum fine range that the Judge can set the fine for each offense.
Municipal judges serve as magistrates of the State. In this capacity, the municipal judge has authority to issue warrants for the apprehension and arrest of persons charged with the commission of an offense. As a magistrate, the municipal judge may issue search warrants, arrest warrants, and emergency protection orders; hold preliminary hearings; discharge an accused; or set bail, when applicable.
For more information on the Bryan Municipal Court, and the services they provide, visit their webpage here.
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