INTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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1 INTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The Texas Court Clerks Association and the Texas Court Clerks Education Committee are proud to present this publication to the municipal courts of Texas. It is a procedures and reference guide for court administrators, court clerks, and deputy court clerks. Its format is designed to give clerks step-by-step procedures for municipal court processes. The intention of the authors is to be as practical as the law allows. Statutes and cases are referenced in the Notes section of the publication. Also, additional information to help clerks understand the procedures is presented in the Notes section. This guide was written and prepared by municipal court clerks for municipal court clerks. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this work. The publication includes the 80 th Legislative changes. The procedures presented in this publication are intended to be an aid to help municipal clerks and are not a substitute for legal advice. Should any material in this publication conflict with constitutional, statutory, or case law, the law provided by the constitution, statute, or case prevails. The procedures and processes presented in this publication are solely those of the authors and not of the Association. Judges and clerks should contact their city attorneys with any specific questions about the operations of their courts. It is with grateful appreciation, the Texas Court Clerks Association would like to thank the following contributors: Shona Bohon, Rosie Caballero, Hilda Cuthbertson, Carol Gauntt, Tracie Glaeser, Leisa Hardin, Pennie Jack Julie Kubeczka, Hope Lochridge, Lisa Mayo, Tina Plumlee, and Margaret Robbins. The Association appreciates the cooperation of the Texas Municipal Court Education Center (TMCEC) for allowing the Association to reference the TMCEC Forms in this publication. The Association acknowledges and appreciates the support of TMCEC in the continuing education of municipal court clerks. 2007, Texas Court Clerks Association 2007 page i

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3 PREFACE Managing municipal court records is the responsibility of court administrators and court clerks. Hence, it is important that administrators and clerks understand how to properly handle records requests and records retentions and destruction of records. The following information is not contained within the text of this book. Therefore, a synopsis of these topics is presented here. After reading this information, clerks should talk with their judges, city attorney, and city records manager. Public Information The judiciary is not governed by the Public Information Act, which is codified in Chapter 552 of the Local Government Code. Public access to municipal court records is governed by common law and constitutional law. The common law right to public access of criminal records such as municipal court cases was articulated by the United State Supreme Court case Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc. 435 U.S. 589, 597, 98 S.Ct. 1306,1306, 1312 (1978), as follows: It is clear that the courts of this country recognize a general right to inspect and copy public records and documents, including judicial records and documents. In contrast to the English practice, American decisions generally do not condition enforcement of this right on a proprietary interest in the document or upon a need for it as evidence in a lawsuit. The interest necessary to support the issuance of a writ compelling access has been found, for example, in the citizen s desire to keep a watchful eye on the workings of public agencies. In the case of the Star-Telegram, Inc. v. Walker, 834 S.W.2d (1992), the court held that once papers are filed with the court, they become court records and are public. This case dealt with the identity of a rape victim whose identity was disclosed in an indictment, a motion in limine and a charge to the jury. The court held that the records were public because they were part of court records that were public. The constitutional law relating to public access to criminal court records is found in Express-News Corp v. MacRae, 787 S.W.2d 451, 452 (Tex. App. San Antonio 1990). The public s right to public trials under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States constitution includes a presumption that judicial records will be open to inspection by the press and public. Nixon v. Warner Communication, Inc. 435 U.S. 589, 597, 98 S.C. 1306, 1312 (1978). This presumption of openness may be overcome by a countervailing interest, such as the defendant s right to a fair trial, but the reason for closure or sealing must be apparent and clearly articulated. Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 581, 100 S.Ct. 2814, (1980); Houston Chronicle Publishing Co. v. Hardy, 578, S.W.2d 495, 499 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi, 1984), cert. denied, 470 U.S. 1052, 105 S.Ct (1985). What does this mean for municipal court clerks and administrators? It means that municipal court records are open unless there is a statute that makes the record confidential. It is the judge of the court that makes policy about how municipal court records are released. Court administrators and clerks should work with their judges to provide the most expeditious manner of releasing records. Rule 12 of the Rules of Judicial Administration govern certain judicial records under the authority of the judge. The purpose of Rule 12 is expressed in its policy statement as follows: 2007 page iii

4 12.1 Policy. The purpose of this rule is to provide public access to information in the judiciary consistent with the mandates of the Texas Constitution that the public interests are best served by open courts and by an independent judiciary. The rule should be liberally construed to achieve its purpose. When clerks receive requests for information under Rule 12, they must give the request immediately to the judge to respond. Only the judge may respond to this request and the judge has certain time deadlines requirements in the Rule. Administrators and clerks should have policies and procedures for handling these types of requests for information established by their judges. Records Management Section , Local Government Code, requires cities to establish, promote, and support an active and continuing program for the efficient and economical management of all local government records. The Local Government Code provides rules and regulations for this end. The State Library and Archives Commission has established required minimum retention periods for all city records, including court records. Cities can adopt more stringent retention periods. If a city has not adopted the required ordinance regarding records retention and destruction of records, the city must get permission from the State Library before destroying records. Chapter 202, Local Government Code governs the destruction of records. It provides for the methods of destruction and personal liability if records are improperly destroyed. Clerks should first check with city records managers for copies of the city ordinance on records retention and destruction of records and if the city does not have an ordinance, the clerk should contact the State Library and Archives Commission at (512) Clerks can visit the State Library website is for information on records retention; microfilming standards and procedures, retention schedules for records common to all local governments, information on destruction of records, a copy of the Local Government Records Act, and much more information on records management. Clerks Certification Program Another source of information to help clerks administer and manage their courts is the Municipal Court Clerks Certification Program. This program has been in operation for 11 years and has improved the administration of the courts immeasurably. The Texas Municipal Courts Education Center has the Level I and II Study Guides on its website: Both of these publications contain information about Rule 12 and records management. page iv 2007

5 TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CHECKLISTS... IX ABBREVIATIONS... XIII CHAPTER 1 CITATIONS AND COMPLAINTS...1 CHAPTER 2 CHAPTER 3 DOCKETING...5 OVERVIEW OF PROCEDURES...7 CHAPTER 4 DISMISSALS...11 CHAPTER 5 APPEARANCES AND PLEAS...25 CHAPTER 6 DRIVING SAFETY COURSES...27 A. ELIGIBILITY...27 B. PROCEDURES Mandatory Driving Safety Course/Motorcycle Operator Training Course (Article (b), C.C.P.) Discretionary Driving Safety Course/Motorcycle Operator Training Course...35 CHAPTER 7 DEFERRED DISPOSITION...39 A. TERMS AND CONDITIONS...39 B. PROCEDURES...40 CHAPTER 8 TEEN COURT...47 CHAPTER 9 TRIALS...49 A. MOTIONS FOR CONTINUANCE...49 B. SUBPOENAS...50 C. JURY TRIALS...52 D. DAY OF JURY TRIAL...57 E. BENCH TRIAL...59 F. NEW TRIAL...61 CHAPTER 10 SENTENCING...63 CHAPTER 11 INDIGENCE...65 CHAPTER 12 METHOD OF PAYMENTS...67 A. TIME PAYMENTS...67 B. COMMUNITY SERVICE...71 CHAPTER 13 RETURNED CHECKS...75 CHAPTER 14 APPEAL...77 A. APPEALS FROM A MUNICIPAL COURT OF NON-RECORD...77 B. APPEALS FROM A MUNICIPAL COURT OF RECORD...80 CHAPTER 15 FAILURE TO APPEAR AND VIOLATION OF PROMISE TO APPEAR...85 A. FAILURE TO APPEAR page v

6 B. VIOLATION OF PROMISE TO APPEAR...87 CHAPTER 16 WARRANT OF ARREST...91 CHAPTER 17 CAPIAS...95 CHAPTER 18 CHAPTER 19 CHAPTER 20 SUMMONS...99 CAPIAS PRO FINE DEFENDANT ARRESTED CHAPTER 21 JUVENILES AND MINORS A. JURISDICTION B. WAIVER OF MUNICIPAL COURT JURISDICTION AND TRANSFER OF CHILD TO JUVENILE COURT C. APPEARANCE AND GENERAL PROCEDURES D. TRAFFIC AND OTHER MOTOR VEHICLE MISDEMEANORS Offenses Penalties E. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CODE Status Offenses General Penalty Provision, Section , A.B.C Specific Penalty Provision, Section , A.B.C. Minor D.U.I Alcohol Awareness Program and Community Service (a) Defendant Completes Alcohol Awareness Program and Community Service (b) Defendant Fails to Complete Alcohol Awareness Program or Community Service (c) Defendant Fails to Complete Alcohol Awareness Program or Community Service F. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE Tobacco Offenses Committed by Minors Penalties for Tobacco Use by Minors. Section , H.S.C G. PENAL CODE OFFENSES Offenses Penalties H. EDUCATION CODE OFFENSES Offenses Penalties I. ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL SANCTIONS J. DEFAULT IN PAYMENT OF FINE OR VIOLATION OF COURT ORDER K. FAILURE TO APPEAR L. CHILDREN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY M. CHILDREN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY FOR VIOLATION OF JUVENILE CURFEW N. UNADJUDICATED CHILDREN, NOW ADULTS (NO APPEARANCE MADE) O. CHILDREN NOW ADULTS WHO FAIL TO PAY CAPIAS PRO FINE P. EXPUNCTION Expunction under Article , C.C.P (a) Offenses and Eligibility Requirements (b) Procedures Expungement for minors convicted of offenses under the Alcoholic Beverage Code (a) Eligibility (b) Procedures Expungement for Minors Conviction of Tobacco Offenses (a) Eligibility Requirements (b) Procedures Expunction Procedures for Failure to Attend School Convictions (a) Eligibility Requirements page vi 2007

7 CHAPTER 22 (b) Procedures BOND FORFEITURE A. SURRENDER OF PRINCIPAL B. DAY OF APPEARANCE ON CRIMINAL CHARGE C. ISSUANCE OF CAPIAS D. DECLARING THE FORFEITURE E. SCIRE FACIAS DOCKET F. ISSUANCE OF CITATION G. WAIVER OF SERVICE OF CITATION H. SERVICE OF CITATION I. FILING DEFENDANT S ANSWER J. SETTING CASE ON SCIRE FACIAS DOCKET K. BOND FORFEITURE TRIAL L. JUDGMENTS M. NEW TRIAL N. BILL OF REVIEW O. BOND FORFEITURES UNDER ARTICLE , C.C.P CHAPTER 23 DPS REPORTING A. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CODE B. PENAL CODE C. HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE D. TRANSPORTATION CODE E. EDUCATION CODE F. NEW TRIAL G. APPEALS H. CHART OF FORMS I. INFORMATION REPORTED ON FORMS J. ADDRESSES TO SEND REPORTS K. CITY CONTRACTS CHAPTER 24 ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS A. PROPERTY HEARINGS: DISPOSITION OF STOLEN PROPERTY B. JUNK VEHICLE ABATEMENT C. ANIMAL CRUELTY HEARINGS D. DANGEROUS DOG HEARINGS page vii

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9 TABLE OF CHECKLISTS Chapter Chapter Title Checklist Title Checklist Number Page Chapter 1 Citations and Complaints Citations and Complaints Checklist 1 Page 1 Chapter 2 Docketing Docketing Checklist 2 Page 5 Chapter 3 Overview of Procedures Overview of Procedures Checklist 3 Page 7 Chapter 4 Dismissals Dismissals Checklist 4 Page 11 Chapter 5 Appearances and Pleas Appearances and Pleas Checklist 5 Page 25 Chapter 6 Driving Safety Courses (Mandatory) Eligibility Checklist 6-1a Page 27 Procedures Checklist 6-1b Page 28 Driving Safety Courses (Discretionary) Driving Safety Courses (Discretionary) Checklist 6-2 Page 35 Chapter 7 Deferred Disposition Terms and Conditions Checklist 7-1 Page 39 Procedures Checklist 7-2 Page 40 Chapter 8 Teen Court Teen Court Checklist 8 Page 47 Chapter 9 Trials Motions for Continuance Checklist 9-1 Page 49 Subpoenas Checklist 9-2 Page 50 Jury Trials Checklist 9-3 Page 52 Day of Jury Trial Checklist 9-4 Page 57 Bench Trial Checklist 9-5 Page 59 New Trial Checklist 9-6 Page 61 Chapter 10 Sentencing Sentencing Checklist 10 Page 63 Chapter 11 Indigence Indigence Checklist 11 Page 65 Chapter 12 Methods of Payment Time Payments Checklist 12-1 Page 67 Community Service Checklist 12-2 Page 71 Chapter 13 Return Checks Return Checks Checklist 13 Page 75 Chapter 14 Appeals Appeals from Municipal a Municipal Court of Non- Record Appeals from a Municipal Court of Record Checklist 14-1 Page 77 Checklist 14-2 Page page ix

10 Chapter Chapter Title Checklist Title Checklist Number Page Number Chapter 15 Failure to Appear and Violation of Promise to Appear Failure to Appear Checklist 15-1 Page 85 Violation of Promise to Appear Checklist 15-2 Page 87 Chapter 16 Warrant of Arrest Warrant of Arrest Checklist 16 Page 91 Chapter 17 Capias Capias Checklist 17 Page 95 Chapter 18 Summons Summons Checklist 18 Page 99 Chapter 19 Capias Pro Fine Capias Pro Fine Checklist 19 Page 101 Chapter 20 Defendant Arrested Defendant Arrested Checklist 20 Page 105 Chapter 21 Juveniles and Minors Jurisdiction Checklist 21-1 Page 109 Traffic and Other Motor Vehicle Misdemeanors Waiver of Municipal Court Jurisdiction and Transfer of Child to Juvenile Court Appearance and General Procedures Checklist 21-2 Page 111 Checklist 21-3 Page 112 Offenses Checklist 21-4a Page 116 Penalties Checklist 21-4b Page 117 Alcoholic Beverage Code Status Offenses Checklist 21-5a Page 119 Health and Safety Code General Penalty Provisions, Section , A.B.C. Specific Penalty Provisions, Section , A.B.C.- Minor D.U.I. Alcohol Awareness Program and Community Service; Defendant completes alcohol awareness Program and Community Service Defendant fails to Complete Alcohol Awareness Program or Community Service Tobacco Offenses Committed by Minors Penalties for Tobacco Use by Minors Checklist 21-5b Page 120 Checklist 21-5c Page 123 Checklist 21-5d(1) Page 126 Checklist 21-5d(2) Checklist 21-5d(3) Page 127 Page 128 Checklist 21-6a Page 129 Checklist 21-6b Page131 Penal Code Offenses Checklist 21-7a Page 132 Penalties Checklist 21-7b Page 133 page x 2007

11 Chapter Chapter Title Checklist Title Checklist Number Page Number Chapter 21 Juveniles and Minors Education Code Offenses Checklist 21-8a Page 133 General Procedures Expunctions under Article , C.C.P. Expunctions for minors convicted of offenses under the Alcoholic Beverage Code Expungement for Minors conviction of Tobacco Offenses Expunction Procedures for Failure to Attend School Convictions Penalties Checklist 21-8b Page 134 Additional Sanctions (that may be assessed upon conviction of a juvenile) Default Payment of Fine or Violation of court Order Checklist 21-9 Page 137 Checklist Page 139 Failure to Appear Checklist Page 141 Children Taken into Custody Checklist Page 142 Children Taken into Custody for Custody for Violation of Juvenile Curfew Unadjudicated Children Now Adults (No appearance Made) Children Now Adults Who Fail to Pay Capias Pro Fine Offenses and Eligibility Requirements Checklist Page 144 Checklist Page 145 Checklist Page 147 Checklist 21-16a(1) Page 148 Procedures Checklist 21-16a(2) Page 149 Eligibility Checklist 21-16b(1) Page 152 Procedure Checklist 21-16b(2) Page 152 Eligibility Checklist 21-16c(1) Page 154 Procedures Checklist 21-16c(2) Page 154 Eligibility Requirements Checklist 21-16d(1) Page 155 Procedures Checklist 21-16d(2) Page 156 Chapter 22 Bond Forfeiture Surrender of Principal Checklist 22-1 Page 159 Day of Appearance on Criminal Charge Checklist 22-2 Page 160 Issuance of Capias Checklist 22-3 Page 160 Declaring the Forfeiture Checklist 22-4 Page 161 Scire Facias Docket Checklist 22-5 Page 161 Issuance of Capias Checklist 22-6 Page page xi

12 Chapter Chapter Title Checklist Title Checklist Number Page Number Chapter 22 Bond Forfeitures Waiver of Service of Citation Checklist 22-7 Page 162 Service of Citation Checklist 22-8 Page 163 Filing Defendant s Answer Checklist 22-9 Page 167 Setting Case on Scire Facias Docket Checklist Page 168 Bond Forfeiture Trial Checklist Page 169 Judgments Checklist Page 173 New Trial Checklist Page 177 Bill of Review Checklist Page 177 Bond Forfeitures under Article , C.C.P. (cash bond forfeitures) Checklist Page 178 Chapter 23 DPS Reporting Alcoholic Beverage Code Checklist 23-1 Page 181 Penal Code Checklist 23-2 Page 186 Health and Safety Code Checklist 23-3 Page 189 Transportation Code Checklist 23-4 Page 191 Education Code Checklist 23-5 Page 195 New Trial Checklist 23-6 Page 197 Appeals Checklist 23-7 Page 197 Chart of Forms Checklist 23-8 Page 198 Information Reported on Forms Checklist 23-9 Page 200 Addresses to Send Reports Checklist Page 203 City Contracts Checklist Page 203 Chapter 24 Administrative Hearings Property Hearings: Disposition of Stolen Property Checklist 24-1 Page 207 Junk Vehicle Abatement Checklist 24-2 Page 208 Animal Cruelty Hearings Checklist 24-3 Page 209 Dangerous Dog Hearings Checklist 24-4 Page 211 page xii 2007

13 ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS CHECKLIST BOOK A.B.C. Art. C.C.P. DPS E.C. F.C. G.C. H.S.C. JNA L.G.C. P.C. P.W.C. Sec. T.C. TMCEC V.A.C.S. Alcohol Beverage Code Article Code of Criminal Procedure Department of Public Safety Education Code Family Code Government Code Health and Safety Code Juvenile Now Adult Local Government Code Penal Code Parks and Wildlife Code Section Transportation Code Texas Municipal Courts Education Center Vernon s Annotated Civil Statutes 2007 page xiii

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15 CHAPTER 1 CITATIONS AND COMPLAINTS A complaint is a sworn allegation charging the accused with the commission of an offense. (Article , C.C.P.) A citation is a written notice issued to a defendant by a peace officer containing information about an offense, the court the defendant is to appear in, and the date and time to appear in court. A citation is filed with a court for the purpose of allowing a defendant to plea without requiring a sworn complaint to be filed. Checklist 1 1. A peace officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, anyone in city management, citizen, or any creditable person may file a complaint with the court. 2. Police officer brings citation to court for filing. 3. Clerk or judge may accept citation for filing. Clerk reviews citation. Notes Charges in municipal court may be initiated by citation or complaint. Only peace officers have statutory authority to issue citations. Article 14.06(b), C.C.P. and Section , T.C. If a clerk is unable to read the citation, the clerk sends the citation back to police department. (Note: If there are any changes made on a citation, a sworn complaint must be filed. Article 27.14(d), C.C.P.) When court accepts citation, case is filed. Clerk enters citation in docket (In most courts the docket is the case management software.). CHECKLIST 2. TMCEC FORMS: DOCKET SHEET. Article (b), C.C.P., provides authority for courts to maintain and store dockets electronically. Note: Because some police departments use ticket writers, citations are filed electronically. In this instance, the clerks review the citations after they are downloaded to determine if any errors have occurred or if there are any issues with the citations before they are accepted for filing. The citations that are accepted are then filed into the case management software and not data entered. The citations that are not accepted are sent back to the police department for review page 1

16 Clerk prepares case file and files case in active files. 4. If defendant pleads not guilty when a citation is filed, the court prepares complaint for trial that complies with Chapter 45. (Articles and , C.C.P.) Case file can be a file folder, envelope, document imaging system, or whatever helps the court expeditiously handle the files. If defendant and prosecutor agree in writing to go to trial on the citation and file the agreement with the court, the court will not prepare a complaint. Article 27.14(d), C.C.P. A complaint is a sworn statement (affidavit). Usually the clerk prepares the complaint. A complaint is not a new case. It is filed on the same docket as the citation and has the same docket number. 5. If a code enforcement officer, animal control officer or citizen files a charge, they must file a sworn complaint in the court to initiate the charge (case). 6. Administering the oath to affiant (person swearing to complaint). Person swearing to complaint (affiant) must be familiar with information contained in complaint. Person administering oath asks affiant to raise hand and swear that the information contained in the complaint is true. If a court does not already have wording for the complaint, the court must contact the prosecutor. The prosecutor is responsible for the wording on the complaint or the court can refer to TMCEC FORMS: COMPLAINTS for sample complaints. Clerk, deputy clerk, city secretary, judge, city attorney, and deputy city attorney have authority to administer the oath to someone swearing to a complaint. Article (e), C.C.P. See Section , G.C., for more persons who have authority to administer oath. d. e. After affiant swears that information is true and correct, affiant signs complaint in front of person administering oath. Person administering oath signs jurat. Court seal is impressed on complaint. Jurat is the certificate of the person administering the oath. Article (g), C.C.P.; Section , G.C. page

17 7. If defendant pleads guilty or no contest, court does not need to have a complaint on file in the case. 8. If defendant fails to appear, court must prepare and have on file a complaint on original charge. Judge may enter judgment when a citation is filed after a plea of guilty or nolo contendere. See CHECKLIST 5. See CHECKLIST 15-1 FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR page 3

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19 CHAPTER 2 DOCKETING A docket is a formal record with brief entries of the actions that have occurred in a case. Judges are required to keep and maintain a docket of every case filed in the court. Article , C.C.P. The docket can be maintained and stored manually or electronically. Most courts have additional information in the docket for management purposes than what is required by statute. After the court accepts a citation or sworn complaint, the case is filed in court. The next step is to enter the case on the court docket. Checklist 2 1. Clerk enters citation or sworn complaint in docket. Notes After a case is filed, the next step is to enter case into the docket (docket book or case management software on a computer). Article , C.C.P. TMCEC FORMS: DOCKET SHEET. Note: Because some police departments use ticket writers, citations are filed electronically. In this instance, the clerks review the citations after they are downloaded to determine if any errors have occurred or if there are any issues with the citations before they are accepted for filing. The citations that are accepted are then filed into the case management software and not data entered. The citations that are not accepted are sent back to the police department for review or prosecutor for a decision on whether to accept for prosecution. 2. Clerk or software assigns a docket number to case. 3. The style of the case required to be entered. Case entered into docket. Usually, software assigns docket numbers. The docket number is used on all orders issued with the case. The style of all cases in municipal court is The State of Texas vs. defendant s name. 4. The clerk enters the nature of the offense. The nature of the offense is the type of offense such as speeding, public intoxication, minor consuming alcohol, etc page 5

20 5. After the judge accepts a plea from the defendant, the clerk enters the date the defendant entered the plea on the docket. 6. The clerk enters the verdict of the jury, if any, on the docket. 7. After a judge renders a judgment, the clerk enters it on the docket. 8. The clerk enters the motion for new trial, if any, and the judge s decision on the motion. 9. The clerk must enter whether the defendant appealed his/her case and the date of the appeal. Clerks cannot ask for or accept pleas from defendants. This is a judicial duty. Clerks, however, can process the paperwork for the judge to accept the plea. See CHECKLIST 5. If the defendant had a jury trial, the clerk enters the verdict (guilty or not guilty) on the docket. For jury trials, see CHECKLISTS 9-3 and 9-4. Before a clerk can enter a judgment on the docket, the judge must sign a judgment this includes mail-in payments, payments at the clerk s office, dismissals, and judgment after trial. After defendants are convicted at trial, they may make a motion for new trial. See CHECKLIST 9-6 for new trials. Defendants have the right to an appeal. Article 44.02, C.C.P. The court enters the date the appeal is sent to the appellate court, which is usually the county court. For appeals, see CHECKLIST 14. page

21 CHAPTER 3 OVERVIEW OF PROCEDURES The procedures in this checklist present an overview of municipal court processes. The specific, detailed checklists are documented in the Notes section. Checklist 3 1. Case filed. Notes CHECKLIST 1. A peace officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, anyone in city management, citizen, or any credible person may file a complaint with the court. Charge (offense) must occur within the jurisdiction of the court: Charges in municipal court may be initiated by citation or complaint. Only peace officers have statutory authority to issue citations. Article 14.06(b), C.C.P. and Section , T.C. See Article 4.14, C.C.P.; Sections and , G.C.; Section 4.11, C.C.P. and Section (b), T.C. Municipal courts of record should also look at Section , G.C. See also A.G. Op. No. JC The prosecutor should be aware of complaints filed. If there are any issues with the citation or complaint, the clerk must notify the prosecutor to decide whether to accept the charge. (1) (2) The location of where the offense occurred; The offense is a fine-only misdemeanor; and Municipal court s geographical jurisdiction is the territorial limits of the city, property owned by the city in the extraterritorial limits and extraterritorial limits in cases arising from ordinances regulating outdoor signs (These outdoor sign ordinance regulation may also be filed in justice court.). Sec , G.C. and Art. 4.11, C.C.P. Municipal courts of records have some jurisdiction in its extraterritorial limits. Article 4.14, C.C.P. and Section , G.C. Fine-only is defined as an offense that is punishable by fine and such sanctions, if any, as authorized by statute not consisting of confinement in jail or imprisonment. Article 4.14(c), C.C.P page 7

22 (3) (4) Whether the case if filed within statute of limitations (Article 12.02, C.C.P.). A defendant cannot be younger than age 10. Two years from the date of the commission of the offense occurred. Citation does not stop the statute of limitation; only the filing of the sworn complaint tolls the statute of limitations. Huynh v. State, 901 S.W.2d 480 (Tex. Crim. App. 1995) Article (h), C.C.P.; Section 51.02(2), F.C. d. (5) If a defendant is younger than age 17, municipal court has no jurisdiction if the defendant is charged with the Penal Code offense of public intoxication. Clerk enters case on docket. If a complaint is filed to initiate proceedings, court may send courtesy notice to defendant about court date or prosecutor may request the judge issue a summons. Section 51.03(f), F.C. CHECKLIST 2. Judge is required to have a request from a prosecutor before issuing a summons for a defendant. Article 23.04, C.C.P. TMCEC FORM: SUMMONS FOR DEFENDANT. 2. Appearance. CHECKLIST 5. Defendant appears. Defendant offers plea. For appearance procedures for juveniles see CHECKLIST Failure to Appear. 4. Trial. Defendant fails to appear. Court issues warrant. Defendant pleads not guilty Defendant requests a trial. CHECKLISTS 15-1 and CHECKLIST 16. For procedures for handling juveniles failure to appear see CHECKLIST CHECKLIST Judgment. CHECKLIST 10. page

23 Judge signs and enters the judgment. Clerk enters judgment on docket. CHECKLIST Payment. 7. New Trial. CHECKLIST 12. CHECKLIST 9-6. The defendant files motion for new trial after being found guilty. Clerk gives motions to judge immediately. Judge determines if sufficient cause to grant new trial. 8. Appeal. CHECKLIST 14. Defendant appeals. Clerk notes appeal in docket. Checklist page 9

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