Since the beginning of statehood in 1845, Texas municipal courts have served an important role in both local government and the state judiciary. This publication critically analyzes the nature of municipal courts and the judge's role in the Texas criminal justice system. It provides a primer to judges assuming a municipal bench, as well as a refresher for seasoned judges. The book is also written for the broad array of people interested in Texas municipal courts (e.g., city officials, attorneys, other judges, legislators, educators, students, and the public at large). Just as municipal courts occupy a unique niche in the Texas judicial system, this book is intended to fill a unique niche in terms of the public's understanding of the courts with which most Texans come into contact.
The content includes (1) an introduction to municipal courts and the Texas judicial system; (2) role of the judge; (3) an overview of judicial ethics; (4) an introduction to the rights of the accused and victims; (5) judgments, indigence, and enforcement; (6) contempt; (7) the adjudication of juveniles in municipal and justice courts; and (8) trials and appeals.