Texas

Texas Municipal Courts

Authored By: Office of Court Administration

Under its authority to create such other courts as may be necessary, the Texas Legislature has created municipal courts in each of the incorporated cities of the State. Municipal courts operate in approximately 875 cities and towns. The larger cities are served by multiple courts, the number depending upon the population of the city and the needs of the public. These courts have original and exclusive jurisdiction over violations of city ordinances and, within the city limits, have concurrent jurisdiction with justice of the peace courts over Class C misdemeanor criminal cases where the punishment upon conviction is by small fine only. When city ordinances relating to fire safety, zoning, public health, or sanitation are violated, fines of up to $2,000 may be charged, when authorized by the governing body of the city. Municipal judges may issue search or arrest warrants. These courts do not have jurisdiction in most civil cases but do have limited civil jurisdiction in cases which involve owners of dangerous dogs.