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AUTHORITY FOR RULES
Under the inherent power and duty of all Texas Courts as codified in Section 21.001 of the Texas Government Code, the following Rules of the Court of the City of Manor (hereinafter, Rules) are promulgated and shall apply and govern any and all proceedings held within any Municipal Court of the City of Manor, County of Travis, State of Texas.
The Rules apply to each Attorney, to each Defendant representing himself/herself (hereinafter referred to as “Pro Se Defendant”) in the Municipal Court of the City of Manor, Texas, to all Court Staff, as well as to any and all witnesses or observers who appear in the Municipal Court of the City of Manor, Texas. A judge may circulate rules for their Court which do not conflict with these rules and applicable law. Failure to comply with these Rules may result in the imposition of sanctions including contempt.
AUTHORITY OF SITTING MUNICIPAL JUDGES
The Municipal Court of the City of Manor is one Court. Each Judge, whether full time or associate (sitting for a full time Judge), has authority within the Court in which they are sitting and in the Manor Municipal Court in general as does any Municipal Judge of a Court of Non-Record in the State of Texas. Each Judge is also a Magistrate for every county into which the City of Manor goes and has all authority as a Magistrate in any of those counties as set forth in State Law.
HOURS OF OPERATION
The Municipal Court office shall be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the exception of City observed holidays or when Court is otherwise closed by order of the Administrative Judge or City Manager. A Judge cannot ethically speak to any party regarding the merits of a case without both parties present (Prosecutor and Defendant/Defendant Attorney) unless as authorized by the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct. Each Judge is “on call” 24 hours a day 7 days a week for emergency situations and for Magistrate duties.
The court appearance date that appears on a citation or summons is an arraignment setting.
The purpose of the arraignment setting is to determine the defendant’s plea to the offense charged and for the Court to apprise defendants of their Constitutional Rights. At the arraignment setting, which may be either in open court (Plea Court) or at the Court Clerk’s window (pursuant to Standing Orders), the defendant may enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere (no contest). If a not guilty plea is entered, the case will be set for pre-trial hearing at a later date. If the defendant wishes to have a trial by jury, a jury trial request may be made at the arraignment or at the pre-trial conference.
A plea of Not Guilty, Guilty, or No Contest (Nolo Contendre) must be filed with the Clerk of the Court typically within thirty (30) days following the issuance of a citation. All pleas must be in writing. If a defendant fails to timely answer the citation, the Defendant shall be placed in an Arrest Warrant status and shall post a cash bond if Defendant wishes to proceed with a Not Guilty plea and request a trial. A PLEA CANNOT BE ACCEPTED FROM ANY INDIVIDUAL EXCEPT THE DEFENDANT OR DEFENDANT’S ATTORNEY OF RECORD.
A request for a trial may be made in person, by the defendant or by the defendant or by attorney, prior to or at the scheduled arraignment docket. The request shall specify either a jury or non-jury setting.
Subject to the discretion of the Judge calling the docket, the order of the cases proceeding to Jury or Bench trial shall be as follows:
Any party seeking to utilize a video or audio aid must provide their own necessary equipment, unless a party has made special request within thirty (30) prior to a scheduled Jury or Bench Trial. Cell Phones cannot be used as evidence. If a party as evidence that is located on a cell phone it is the suggestion of the Court to download said evidence on a different media source.
Upon a plea of guilty or no contest, a waiver of jury or bench trial, the Court Clerk may process a payment plan upon the following terms for Arrest Warrants (not Capias Pro Fine Warrants):
In the event that Defendant cannot make the payments in accordance with the Order, due to changed circumstances, provided they have come to the court before they have defaulted, the clerks are authorized to set the Defendant on a Show Cause hearing docket in order to have the opportunity for the Judge to assess the current financial situation of the Defendant. In the interim, the Defendant is encouraged to make periodic payments in the amount they believe they can afford to make, to reduce the amount outstanding and provide the court with additional evidence of the amount they are able to pay, all of which will be taken into consideration at the time of the Show Cause hearing.
It is the responsibility of the Defendant to know when they must appear before the City of Manor Municipal Court.
If any provision of these policies, rules and regulations as contained in the Rules of the Court or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect other provisions or applications of these policies, rules and regulations which can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision or application, and to this end the provision of these policies, rules and regulations are severable. In lieu thereof there shall be added provision as similar in terms to such illegal, invalid, unconstitutional and unenforceable provision as may be possible and be legal, valid, constitutional and enforceable.
INAPPLICABILITY TO CIVIL CASES
The Rules of the Court set forth herein are the Rules of the Court applicable to criminal proceedings, and are not applicable to civil cases and administrative hearings.
The rules of the Court shall not be construed so as to enlarge, diminish, modify, or alter the jurisdiction, powers, or authority of the Municipal Court of the City of Manor or the State of Texas.
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