Contact us 

City of Taft
501 Green Ave
PO Box 416
Taft, TX 78390
ph: (361) 528-3512
fax: (361) 528-3515

2020 City of Taft. All rights reserved.

Court Appearances

The law requires that you appear to enter a plea in your case. You may appear in person or in writing. If you were issued a citation you must appear within 20 days of the receipt of the citation. A telephone call does not constitute as an appearance.

If you have any questions, please call 361.777.4543.

 

MUNICIPAL COURT FORMS

Municipal Court Mailing Address:
Municipal Court

 

Municipal Court Email:  Jpineda@cityoftaft.net

 

Not Guilty Plea*
This is a fillable form. Please download and complete, then email it to the court (with the applicable attachments), or print it and send by mail to the court (with copies of the applicable documents).

     Not Guilty Plea form checklist:  
     1) Completed Form
     2) Copy of ID or Driver's License (Only high quality, readable scan or photo accepted)

     * Please note it is the defendant's responsibility to ensure that all information and forms are                 accurate and complete. 

 

PREPARING FOR COURT

ITEMS TO BRING TO COURT

Before you come to court, here are the things you should bring with you:

  • Any documents that prove compliance with the judge's orders and/or sentencing

  • Any receipts regarding your case

    • Bond receipts

    • Cash bail receipts

  • Appearance letter and/or court documents

 

  • Do not use nicknames or an alias

    • Use the same spelling as listed on the documents related to the case and ensure spelling on the documents is correct, if they are not, please advise the court

 

  • Method of payment

    • Cash

    • Check

    • Credit card

    • Debit card

  • Proper identification

    • Driver's license

    • Passport

    • Texas ID

  • Provide the court with your current address and telephone number

  • Your copy of the citation

COURT ETIQUETTE

Appropriate dress 

  • No obscene slogans on clothing or hats

  • Shirt and shoes are required

  • No cell phones are allowed in the Municipal Court

FAILURE TO APPEAR

If you fail to appear in court as ordered, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest and you can be jailed and/or fined. For more information, comments or questions, please contact the Municipal Court at xxx-xxx-xxxx

 

COURTROOM STANDARDS

The Court operates with traditional formality. When you are representing yourself in Court, you are trying to persuade a judge or jury, so you should act, dress, and speak in a way that helps your case. How you act is as important as how you look. You must be respectful of everyone in the Court. This includes the Judge, court staff, the other party involved in the case, witnesses and other defendants.

The Court has a very busy schedule so you must be on time for the Judge. If you are late, your case may be postponed or you could be required to post bond for a new date. Make sure you bring all the court documents and information you need. It is important to have these documents readily available upon request from the Judge or court staff.

The Judge cannot speak to you about your case except when your case is being heard and the other party is present. The court staff will help you in any way they can regarding the process of your case(s) but cannot give any legal advice or recommendations on what you should do.

 

RULES

When in Court, please observe the following rules:

  • No weapons are permitted in the Municipal Court building or any other City building.

  • Turn phones off while in the courtroom.

  • When addressing the Judge, stand a few feet back from the bench. Do not lean on the bench.

  • No food or drink is allowed in the courtroom.

  • Please remain quiet while the Judge is giving instructions and calling the docket.

  • Tobacco use is prohibited by law in all City buildings.

  • Avoid bringing small children to court. When you must, please monitor their behavior so they remain quiet at all times. Parents may be asked to leave the courtroom if their child becomes noisy or unruly.

  • Please wear suitable clothing. It is inappropriate to enter the courtroom without a shirt or shoes. T-shirts with offensive slogans or pictures are not allowed.

  • Hats must be removed before entering the courtroom.

 

Juveniles

The Municipal Court has jurisdiction over juveniles 16 years of age and younger at the time of the offense who are charged with a Class C misdemeanor. All juveniles are required to appear in court for the proceedings in their cases. You will receive a written notice to appear approximately two weeks prior to your appearance date. The parent or guardian of any juvenile with charges in Municipal Court is required to appear in court with their child.

Juveniles who fail to appear or resolve their cases will be reported to the Department of Public Safety, which will deny renewal of their driver's license. If they do not have a license, they will be unable to obtain one until they have satisfied all obligations to this court.

REQUIREMENTS

  • All juveniles must appear before the judge and be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  • All persons 18 years old and younger who have been charged with an alcohol- or tobacco-related offense must appear before the judge with a parent or guardian.

 

Plea Definitions

PLEA OF GUILTY

By a plea of guilty, you admit that the act is illegal, that you committed the act charged, and that you have no defense or excuse for your act. Before entering your plea of guilty, however, you should understand the following:

  • A plea of guilty may be used against you later in a civil suit if there was a traffic accident.

  • The state has the burden of proving that you violated the law.

  • You have the right to hear the state's evidence and to require the state to prove you violated the law.

PLEA OF NOLO CONTENDERE (NO CONTEST)

A plea of no contest means that you do not contest the state's charge against you. You will almost certainly be found guilty, unless you are eligible and successfully complete a driving safety course and/or court ordered probation. In addition, a plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in a civil suit for damages.

PLEA OF NOT GUILTY

A plea of not guilty means that you are denying guilt or that you have a good defense in your case.
PLEA OF NOT GUILTY FORM

NO LEGAL ADVICE

The Portland Municipal Court does not provide legal advice.