Municipal court

Overview

The Municipal Court is the judicial branch of City government. The Municipal Court is responsible for processing all citations involving Class C Misdemeanor offenses and City Ordinance violations occurring within the City.

Responsibilities

The City of Nash Municipal Court processes City Ordinance violations, State statute violations, and traffic violations generated by the City’s Police Department, Code Enforcement Division, and Animal Control.

Judge

The Municipal Court reports to the City Administrator and is presided over by a Judge who works on a part-time basis.

The Municipal Court Judge hears cases that come before the court and renders a verdict and/or fine. Fines assessed by the Judge cannot exceed $2,000 or involve a prison sentence.

The current Municipal Judge is John C. Hawkins Jr.

Staff

The Municipal Court Administration Office is staffed by a Court Clerk and a Deputy Court Clerk.

The administrator and clerks are responsible for preparing all paperwork necessary for the Court, as well as accepting fines imposed by the Judge

Other Information

  • A phone call does not constitute an appearance
  • Cash, check, or Money Order accepted
  • Please wait at least 48 hours after receiving your citation to contact the court
  • A conviction of an offense under a traffic law of this state or a political subdivision of this state may result in the assessment of your driver’s license of a surcharge under the driver responsibility program

juvenile and minors

Juveniles

State law requires anyone under the age of 17 to appear before the Judge with a parent or legal guardian. 

Failure to appear with a parent or legal guardian will result in notice being sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety to put a hold on your driver’s license so that it cannot be renewed. If you do not have a driver’s license yet, a hold will be sent so that you are unable to obtain a driver’s license.

Minors with Tobacco Offenses

If you receive a tobacco-related citation and are under the age of 18, you must appear before the Judge.

You are required to take a tobacco awareness course in addition to paying a fine.

Minors with Alcohol Offenses

If you receive an alcohol-related citation and are under the age of 21, you must appear before the Judge.

An alcohol awareness course must be completed as well as eight hours of community service and a 30-day suspension of your driver’s license and payment of a fine.

If there has been a prior alcohol conviction, an alcohol awareness course must be completed, as well as 20 hours of community service and a 60-day suspension of your driver’s license.


jury service

How did I get summoned for jury service?

The jury selection list comes from Bowie County Voter registration. If you are registered to vote and live in Nash, Texas, you may be sent a jury summons.

Where should I appear?

Check your jury summons. You should appear at the Nash Municipal Court, located at: 119 Elm St. Nash, TX 75569.

How long will my jury service last?

Jury service typically lasts no more than half of a day.

Do I get paid for jury service?

If you are chosen to serve on a panel of six jurors, you will receive $6 a day.

What are the exemptions for jury service?

Jury service may be excused for:

  • Persons over 70 years of age 
  • Persons who have legal custody of a child or children under the age of 16 years, if jury service by that person would necessitate leaving the child or children without supervision 
  • All students of public or private secondary school if jury service would mean that person missing class 
  • Every person who is enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education 
  • Persons who are the primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care for themselves 
  • An officer or an employee of the Senate, House of Representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government 
  • Persons whose service would prevent them from observing a religious holiday or religious belief Persons who have a physical or mental impairment or an inability to understand English 
  • Persons on active military duty

What if I ignore my jury summons?

You can be fined up to $100.


COURT ROLES

Role of the Judge

Judges are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all persons before the court are treated equally
  • Ensuring that orders of the court are followed
  • Presiding over bench trials and jury trials and giving the final verdict in bench trials
  • Setting the terms and conditions of deferred disposition and other sentences
  • Arraigning prisoners
  • Setting fine amounts
  • Accepting pleas

Judges cannot hear information about a case or the specifics therein until after a plea has been entered.

Role of the Clerk

Clerks are responsible for:

  • Serving as administrators of the court
  • Putting into operation the orders of the judge and procedures and policies set within the court

Clerks are also prohibited by law to give any legal counsel or guidance. They cannot change the Judge’s orders or approve extensions, or tell you what they think the Judge or Prosecutor will do in your case.

Role of the Prosecutor

Prosecutors are responsible for:

  • Prosecuting criminal cases for the City of Nash and the State of Texas
  • Dismissing cases

The prosecutor is available prior to the trial for defendants who would like to settle outside of court. Criminal defendants may choose not to speak to the Prosecutor prior to the trial.


Plea Options

Only the person whose name appears on the citation (other than a licensed attorney) can enter a plea for an offense.

Plea options are as follows:

Not Guilty – When you enter this plea, you are stating to the court that you believe you are innocent of the charge and would like to be placed on a trial docket. A jury trial will be scheduled unless you waive your right to a jury and request a bench trial (a trial before a judge).

Guilty – When you enter this plea, you are stating to the court that you are guilty of the offense as charged, and you are waiving your right to a jury trial. You will be required to pay the fine and court costs.

Nolo Contendre (No Contest) – When you enter this plea, it means that you do not wish to contest the citation, but you are not admitting guilt. You are waiving your right to a jury trial and will be required to pay the fine and court costs.

ENTERING A PLEA


CITATION DISMISSAL

Filing Documents

All documents presented to the Municipal Court are verified. Filing a fraudulent document with a court is a felony.

Fail to Maintain Financial Responsibility (No Insurance)

You must provide a copy of a valid insurance policy that was in effect on the date and at the time of the citation. If you were driving someone else’s vehicle, you must present a copy of their policy with a permission letter from the insured stating that you had permission to drive the vehicle. The permission letter must have the insured’s signature affixed. Insurance will be confirmed by the court clerk with the insurance company.

Fail to Display Driver’s License

You must present to the court a valid driver’s license issued prior to the date and time of the citation. This offense is dismissible for a $10 fee (failure to pay the fee forfeits your right to a dismissal).

Expired Driver’s License

You must renew your license within 20 business days of receiving the citation. You must present the renewed license to the court by the date on the citation. This offense is dismissible for a $10 administrative fee (failure to pay the fee forfeits your right to a dismissal).

Expired Registration

The registration sticker on the vehicle at the time of the citation cannot be expired for more than 60 days. You must register the vehicle within 20 business days of receiving the citation. You must present the proof of registration to the court by the date on the citation. There is a state assessed fee that is implemented when a citation is received. This fee must be paid before the court can dismiss your citation. This offense is dismissible for a $10 fee (failure to pay the fee forfeits your right to a dismissal).

Expired Inspection Sticker

The inspection sticker on the vehicle at the time of the citation cannot be expired for more than 60 days. You must get the vehicle inspected within 20 business days of receiving the citation. You must present proof of inspection to the court by the date on the citation. This offense is dismissible for a $10 fee (failure to pay the fee forfeits your right to a dismissal).