CHAPTER 7

MUNICIPAL COURT

   ARTICLE 7.100 ESTABLISHMENT OF COURT*

   Sec. 7.101     Court

(a)     In accordance with the interlocal agreement for combined municipal court services for the city and the Town of Cross Roads (the “interlocal agreement”), the corporation court of the city shall henceforth be known as the Northeast Municipal Court (the “court”). The court shall have the jurisdiction, and shall be conducted in the manner prescribed and authorized by law. All court revenue received during any given fiscal year shall be paid in accordance with the interlocal agreement, as may be amended from time to time.

(b)     A recorder (who may also be officially referred to a city judge, or judge of the court, or as city recorder), shall preside over the court. The mayor shall be ex-officio recorder of the court as provided under the laws of the state. In case of the failure, inability or refusal of the mayor to act as such recorder, the mayor pro tem shall so serve and act.

(c)     There shall be such regularly scheduled sessions of the court as in the discretion of the recorder may be necessary for the timely transaction of the business of the court.

   Sec. 7.102     Jurisdiction

(a)     The court shall have jurisdiction in all criminal cases arising under the ordinances of the city, in all cases arising under the criminal laws of the state, in which the punishment is by fine only, and where the maximum fine for the offense charged does not exceed the amount as provided for in the general penalty provision in Section 1.109 of this code and where the offense charged arose within the corporate limits of the city (or, outside of the corporate limits but within an area over which the city has jurisdiction and control under the laws of the state).

(b)     Pursuant to Texas Government Code, section 29.003(i), Code of Criminal Procedure, article 4.14(g), and the interlocal agreement, the court shall also have jurisdiction in all criminal cases arising under the ordinances of the Town of Cross Roads, Texas, in all cases arising under the criminal laws of the state, in which the punishment is by fine only, and where the maximum fine for the offense charged does not exceed the amount as provided for in the general penalty provision in Section 1.109 of this code and where the offense charged arose within the corporate limits of the Town of Cross Roads, Texas, (or, outside of the corporate limits but within an area over which the Town of Cross Roads, Texas has jurisdiction and control under the laws of the state).

   Sec. 7.103     Administration of Municipal Court Funds

All funds established under this chapter shall be administered by, or under the direction of, the city council.

   ARTICLE 7.200 OFFICERS AND DUTIES OF COURT

   Sec. 7.201     Recorder and Court: Qualifications, Powers, Duties and Regulations

(a)     The presiding officer of the court shall, as aforesaid, be known as the recorder (and he or she may also be officially referred to as city judge, or judge of the court, or as city recorder), and he or she shall have all of the powers, duties, authorities and qualifications prescribed by law and by this article.

(b)     The recorder shall set the hours and day for the sessions of the court, and notice of the said setting shall be posted in the office of the clerk of the court.

(c)     All prosecutions for violations of provisions of articles of the city, shall be commenced in the court by complaint, setting forth specifically and within reasonable certainty the particular act or omission with which the defendant is charged. Such complaint shall be signed and sworn to by the person making the complaint.

(d)     When any complaint shall be filed as is provided for in this article, the recorder shall issue a warranty of arrest which shall be executed by the city marshal or any policeman of the city in a like manner as similar process in justice court may be executed by the sheriff; provided that nothing herein shall be so construed as to prevent the city marshal or any policeman of the city from making arrests without warrant for violation of any article of the city, (or other law within the jurisdiction of said court), when committed in his presence or view, or in any contingencies in which a sheriff or other officer of the state would, by the laws of the state, be permitted to make such arrest.

(e)     In all cases of a misdemeanor, the party charged before the court shall be entitled to a trial by jury, in the same manner and form as provided by law before a justice of the peace. When an application is made for a jury in the trial of a case, the recorder shall direct the city marshal or any policeman of the city to summon six (6) disinterested persons who are qualified voters in the city, to act as jurors, to serve. Any person so summoned who shall fail or refuse to act without good cause shown, may be fined by the court in any sum not exceeding the amount as provided for in the general penalty provision in Section 1.109 of this code.

(f)     The recorder shall, in all matters pertaining to the administration of justice concerning which there are no special provisions, be governed by the laws of the state regulating proceedings in justice courts, so far as the same may be applicable.

(g)     The recorder shall have power to punish all persons guilty of contempt of court to the same extent and under the same circumstances as the county court. Except as may be otherwise herein specially set forth and provided, he or she shall have the power to take recognizances, admit to bail and forfeit recognizances and bail bonds under the rules and regulations as now govern the taking and forfeiting of the same as in the county court.

(h)     The recorder shall have the power and authority to administer official oaths, and all oaths and affirmations, and to swear witnesses and jurors in trial before him.

(i)     Except as may be otherwise herein specially provided, the proceedings before the court shall be governed by the same rules which are prescribed by the justice of the peace, under the laws of this state, insofar as they are applicable. All prosecutions in the court, whether under an article or under the penal code of the state, shall be commenced “in the name of the State of Texas,” and shall conclude “against the peace and dignity of the state;” and, where the offense is covered by article, the complaint may also conclude “as contrary to such article.”

(j)     Warrants or other processes issued by the recorder shall be directed to the city marshal or any policeman of the city, but in case of the absence or inability of such officers, such process shall be directed to any peace officer within the city or county, and shall be executed by such officer.

(k)     The recorder shall have power to issue any process necessary to require the attendance of any person as a witness in any case pending before the court. Persons failing or refusing to obey any such process may be fined in any sum not exceeding an amount as provided in the general penalty provision in Section 1.109 of this code and shall forthwith be attached. If such witness appears in the court and fails or refuses to testify, he or she shall be guilty of contempt of court, and may be fined in any sum not to exceed an amount as provided in the general penalty provision in Section 1.109 of this code and, in addition thereto, may be imprisoned, or otherwise punished, as provided by law.

(l)     Code of criminal procedure to be followed: Except as may be expressly herein otherwise provided, the provisions of the code of criminal procedure of the state, now in force regulating the attendance of witnesses in criminal cases tried before a justice of the peace, shall, (so far as practicable), govern and be applicable to the trial of cases before the court.

   Sec. 7.202     Clerk of the Court

(a)     Powers and Duties. The city secretary shall be ex-officio clerk of the court and shall have the powers and duties prescribed by the laws of the state and by this article in transacting the business of the court.

(b)     Deputy Clerk. Subject to the approval of the mayor, the city secretary may appoint one or more deputy clerks who, when acting in such capacity, shall have the same authority as the clerk of the court.

   ARTICLE 7.300 COURT PROCEDURE

   Sec. 7.301     Procedure in Traffic Cases

(a)     Plea of Guilty.

(1)     In cases where a person is charged with a traffic violation and desires to plead guilty and pay the fine set by order of the recorder for the offense charged, an agreement in writing to such effect shall be obtained from the person charged and the amount of the fine collected in cash.

(2)     Duplicates of agreements and cash receipts shall be made and filed by the clerk of the court as official records of the disposition of such cases.

(b)     Plea of Not Guilty. In the event that a person charged with a traffic violation fails to plead or desires to plead not guilty, the ticket issued by the arresting officer shall be referred to the court clerk or other proper person who shall prepare a complaint for the case and cause the same to be filed and docketed as any other case.

   Sec. 7.302     Bail Before Trial

(a)     Cash Bond.

(1)     Any person arrested and charged with a violation of any article or any state law within the jurisdiction of the court may be released from custody provided such person executes a cash bond in the form herein provided and deposits in escrow, with the police officer authorized by the city marshal (chief of police), to accept such agreement, an amount of cash equal to the amount set by the recorder as security for the offense charged.

(2)     The cash bond shall recite the offense charged and shall bind the accused to appear before the court of the city, on a day and at a time therein specified then and there to answer the said charge.

(3)     The cash bond shall contain the agreement of the person executing the same that, upon default, the recorder may declare the deposit forfeited, enter a judgment of guilty, assess a fine in the amount of the escrow deposit, or any part thereof and apply such deposit to the payment of the fine.

(b)     Cash Bond Forms and Records. Cash bonds shall be in book form and serially numbered in triplicate. The original shall be delivered together with the cash deposit to the clerk of the court for filing in the records of the case within twenty-four hours after acceptance; the duplicate shall be delivered to the person executing the same as a receipt for the deposit; and the triplicate shall remain in the book which, when all the forms are used, shall be delivered to the clerk of the court for filing in the records of the court.

(c)     Forfeiture of Cash Bonds.

(1)     Whenever a person has executed a cash bond, and he or his representative fails to appear before the court on the day and at the time specified in the bond, the recorder shall make an appropriate entry on the docket forfeiting the cash deposit, and if the recorder is satisfied from the evidence that forfeiture of the deposit is sufficient punishment for the offense charged, he may enter a judgment of guilty and assess a fine in the amount of the deposit or any part thereof, as provided in the bond.

(2)     If the recorder after hearing evidence is of the opinion that forfeiture of the cash deposit is insufficient punishment for the offense charged, he shall issue a capias warrant for the defendant's re-arrest and trial.

(d)     Return of Cash Deposit. A person posting a cash bond for bail shall be entitled to the refund of all or part of the cash deposit in the following instances, to-wit:

(1)     If the person complained of at any time submits an appearance bond in lieu of his cash bond, and the same is found sufficient and approved by the recorder;

(2)     If the person complained of appears at the time stated in the bond and is acquitted or the cause is dismissed; or

(3)     If a fine is assessed and the fine and court costs are less than the deposit, a refund of the balance remaining shall be made.

(e)     Appearance Bonds.

(1)     Any person in custody under a warranty of commitment, warrant of arrest, or capias, may secure his release upon presentation of an appearance bond in the form required by the laws of the state and approved by the recorder as to sufficiency and amount.

(2)     Books of appearance bond forms shall be prepared under the direction of the recorder, serially numbered in duplicate, for use by persons requiring the same. The original shall be delivered within twenty-four (24) hours to the clerk of the court for filing in the papers of the cause and the duplicate shall be retained in the book which when all the forms are used, shall be delivered to the clerk of the court for filing in the records of the court.

   Sec. 7.303     Bail After Trial; Commitment to Jail for Nonpayment of Fine; Exceptions

The recorder shall commit to the city jail each person found guilty and fined where the fine is not forthwith paid in full, except:

(1)     Where an appearance bond has theretofore been filed in connection with such cause, which in accordance with the laws of the state entitles the person complained of to remain free pending the further disposition of the cause;

(2)     Unless the person complained of then and there executes an appearance bond approved by the recorder and conditioned on his appearance in the court on hearing of a motion of new trial of such cause, which motion shall then and there be set for a time certain;

(3)     Unless the person fined then and there presents an appeal bond complying with the laws of the state for such undertakings and same is approved by the recorder; or

(4)     Unless the person fined then and there executes a cash bond and makes a cash deposit in the manner provided in Section 7.302(a), (in an amount set by the recorder), and conditioned on the appearance of the person fined in the court on hearing on a motion for new trial of such cause, which motion shall then and there be set for a time certain.

   Sec. 7.304     General Penalty

Any person, association of persons, firm or corporation convicted in the court of a violation of any provision of this article, (for which a penalty is not otherwise provided), may be fined in any amount as set forth in the general penalty provision in Section 1.109 of this code.

   ARTICLE 7.400 MUNICIPAL COURT TECHNOLOGY FUND*

   Sec. 7.401     Fund Established

There is hereby established a municipal court technology fund, which shall be maintained by the city in accordance with the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, article 102.0172, as may be amended from time to time.

   Sec. 7.402     Fee; When Collected

All defendants who are convicted of a misdemeanor offense in the court shall pay a technology fee as provided in the fee schedule in appendix A of this code for each offense as a cost of court. A person is considered convicted if:

(1)     A sentence is imposed on the person;

(2)     The person receives community supervision, including deferred adjudication; or

(3)     The court defers final disposition of the person's case.

   Sec. 7.403     Conditions of Deposit

The court clerk shall collect the fee and pay the funds to the municipal treasurer, or to any other official who discharges the duties commonly delegated to the municipal treasurer, for deposit in a fund to be known as the municipal court technology fund.

   Sec. 7.404     Use of Fund

The municipal court technology fund may be used only to finance the purchase of or to maintain technological enhancements for the court, including:

(1)     Computer systems;

(2)     Computer networks;

(3)     Computer hardware;

(4)     Computer software;

(5)     Imaging systems;

(6)     Electronic kiosks;

(7)     Electronic ticket writers; and

(8)     Docket management systems.

   ARTICLE 7.500 MUNICIPAL COURT BUILDING SECURITY FUND*

   Sec. 7.501     Fund Established

There is hereby established a municipal court building security fund, which shall be maintained by the city in accordance with the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, article 102.017, as may be amended from time to time.

   Sec. 7.502     Fee; When Collected

All defendants who are convicted of a misdemeanor offense in the court shall pay a security fee as provided in the fee schedule in appendix A of this code for each offense as a cost of court. A person is considered convicted if:

(1)     A sentence is imposed on the person;

(2)     The person receives community supervision, including deferred adjudication; or

(3)     The court defers final disposition of the person's case.

   Sec. 7.503     Conditions of Deposit

The court clerk shall collect the fee and pay the funds to the municipal treasurer, or to any other official who discharges the duties commonly delegated to the municipal treasurer, for deposit in a fund to be known as the municipal court building security fund.

   Sec. 7.504     Use of Fund

The municipal court building security fund may be used only to finance security personnel, services, and items related to buildings that house the operations of the court, including:

(1)     The purchase or repair of x-ray machines and conveying systems;

(2)     Handheld metal detectors;

(3)     Walkthrough metal detectors;

(4)     Identification cards and systems;

(5)     Electronic locking surveillance equipment;

(6)     Video teleconferencing systems;

(7)     Bailiffs, deputy sheriffs, deputy constables, or contract security personnel during times when they are providing appropriate security services;

(8)     Signage;

(9)     Confiscated weapon inventory and tracking systems;

(10)     Locks, chains, alarms or similar security devices;

(11)     Continuing education on security issues for court personnel and security personnel; and

(12)     Warrant officers and related equipment.

   ARTICLE 7.600 CHILD SAFETY FUND*

   Sec. 7.601     Child Safety Fund Established

There is hereby established a municipal court child safety fund, which shall be maintained by the city in accordance with the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, article 102.014, as may be amended from time to time.

   Sec. 7.602     Fee; When Collected

All defendants who are convicted of a misdemeanor offense of violations of this code regulating the stopping, standing or parking of vehicles or of Transportation Code, chapter 682, in the court, shall pay a child safety fee as provided in the fee schedule in appendix A of this code for each offense as a cost of court. A person is considered convicted if:

(1)     A sentence is imposed on the person;

(2)     The person receives community supervision, including deferred adjudication; or

(3)     The court defers final disposition of the person's case.

   Sec. 7.603     Conditions of Deposit

The court clerk shall collect the fee and pay the funds to the municipal treasurer, or to any other official who discharges the duties commonly delegated to the municipal treasurer, for deposit in an interest-bearing account, and such fund shall be known as the municipal court child safety fund.

   Sec. 7.604     Use of Fund

The municipal court child safety fund may be used for any purpose specified in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, article 102.014(g), as amended, including:

(1)     To fund a school crossing guard program so long as the city operates one;

(2)     For programs designed to enhance child safety, health or nutrition, including child abuse prevention and intervention and drug and alcohol abuse prevention if the city does not operate a school crossing guard program or if the money collected in the fund exceeds the amount necessary to fund the school crossing guard program.

   ARTICLE 7.700 DISCOVERY FEES; COURT CASE OR JUDICIAL RECORDS FEES

   Sec. 7.701     Authorization to Impose Discovery Fee

As authorized by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, article 39.14(l), as amended, the municipal judge may, by order or standing order, require a defendant to pay costs related to discovery, provided that the costs do not exceed the charges prescribed by subchapter F, chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code as promulgated by the office of the attorney general in title 1, part 3, chapter 70 entitled “cost of copies of public information” of the Texas Administrative Code.

   Sec. 7.702     Authorization to Impose Court Case or Judicial Record Fee

As authorized by the Texas Government Code, section 552.266, the municipal court clerk may impose a charge for providing court case or judicial records, provided that such costs do not exceed the charges promulgated by the office of the attorney general, and set forth in title 1, part 3, chapter 70 entitled “cost of copies of public information” of the Texas Administrative Code.

   ARTICLE 7.800 WARRANT FEES

   Sec. 7.801     Authorization to Impose Warrant of Arrest Fee

The city is authorized by and through the municipal court to establish and maintain a fee as set by city council ordinance, for the issuance and service of a warrant of arrest for an offense under the Texas Penal Code, section 38.11, or under Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways, section 149 (Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat., Art. 6071d), and special expenses described in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, article 17.04, all for special expenses involved with the issuance and service of a warrant of arrest, after due notice, not to exceed the amount set by city council ordinance, and the same fee shall be paid into the city treasury for the use and benefit of the city.

(Ordinance 2016-0419 adopted 4/19/16)