The week of November 7-11, 2016 is Municipal Court Week in Texas.
To celebrate Municipal Court Week, TMCEC, in collaboration with stakeholders across the state, has prepared a model resolution which allows city councils to publicly demonstrate their recognition of the importance of municipal courts, the rule of law, and the fair and impartial administration of justice.
In light of increased media focus on indigence issues, TMCEC believes now is the time for cities across the Lone Star State to reflect and rededicate themselves to the fundamental ideals which make up the proper foundation of local courts in Texas.
The resolution recognizes the important work of municipal courts and the people who work in the courts. It embraces the principle of judicial independence. It succinctly states the proper relationship between city council and the municipal court. It makes clear that in Texas, the procedures of municipal court operation are determined by state law, not the city council. Lastly, it is an opportunity for the city council to demonstrate their recognition of procedural safeguards for all defendants, including indigent defendants, and to show support of the municipal court in independently applying all laws in a way that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
TMCEC encourages all cities to adopt the attached model resolution in recognition of Municipal Court Week 2016. All cities that adopt the resolution and notify TMCEC of its adoption will be recognized by TMCEC in a future edition of The Recorder and the names of all cities adopting the model resolution will be shared with the Office of Court Administration.
TMCEC strongly encourages all cities in Texas to participate in and celebrate Municipal Court Week 2016.
If your city adopts the resolution, let us know by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCA Issues New Report on Necessity of Court Costs in Texas (8/31/14)
Senate Bill 1908 (83rd Legislature, Regular Session) directed the Office of Court Administration to, not later than September 1, 2014, conduct a study of the civil and criminal court fees and costs, compile a list of those fees and costs and to determine the necessity of those fees and costs.
The compilation of court costs in Texas is a formidable task because of the piece-meal manner in which court costs and fees become law. Municipal judges, court staff, city attorneys and local governments are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the study’s observations and the criminal court cost list which is current and most comprehensive.