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Municipal Court

Welcome to the Sweeny Municipal Court.

The Municipal Court follows the procedures provided by statute to afford all court participants the rights guaranteed them under the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Texas.

To help the public understand basic court procedures, the following topics have been described in detail below.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (979) 548-3325.

Municipal Court

COURT PERSONNEL
Municipal Judge
Honorable Robert J. Foster
Elected in 2014.
(979) 548-3325
rjfoster@sweenytx.gov

Court Clerk

Karla W. Wilson
Serving since 2014.
(979) 548-3325
kwwilson@sweenytx.gov
HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday – Friday:  8:30 a.m. – Noon / 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m

NOTE:  When the court is closed, payments can be left in the night deposit box located at the front of the building.
CONTACT US
Sweeny Municipal Court
102 W. Ashley Wilson Road
Sweeny, Texas  77480

MAIL: P.O. Box 248, Sweeny, TX, 77480

PHONE: (979) 548-3325

FAX: (979) 548-7745
PAYMENT OPTIONS
Payments to the court may be made the following ways:

  • In Person: (102 W. Ashley Wilson Road, Sweeny, Texas, 77480)
  • By Mail: (P.O. Box 248, Sweeny, Texas, 77480)
  • By Phone: 1-800-444-1187
  • Online: (external link to TrafficPayment.com)
JURISDICTION
Citations for a Class C Misdemeanor that are issued by an officer of the City of Sweeny will be filed in the Sweeny Municipal Court.  Typically, these are violations of city ordinances or violations of state law for which the punishment is by fine only.  The court has jurisdiction for violations which occur in the territorial limits of the City of Sweeny.

Common offense include traffic violations such as speeding, running a red light or stop sign, driving without a driver’s license or liability insurance, or operating a vehicle with defective equipment (tail light, headlamps, etc.).

Common city ordinance infractions include weeds and rubbish, animals running at large, junk vehicles, and house numbering.

The Municipal Court also has jurisdiction over any state law violation punishable by fine only, including theft of property valued under $100, public intoxication, and minor alcohol violations.
APPEARANCE PROCEDURES
Each citation issued sets out an appearance date.  It is very important that the defendant take action on or before the appearance date.  Please do not appear the same day you receive the citation.  Allow three (3) business days from the violation date before contacting the court.  If a defendant needs to request a continuance, the defendant must contact the court prior to the original appearance date.  A new court date will be assigned at that time.  The case will only be reset once.  At the time of the first court appearance, the defendant will be advised of their rights, advised of the charges pending against them, and they will enter a plea.  Telephone contact is not an appearance.  That plea will determine if there will be further proceedings on the case.
PLEAS
GUILTY or NO CONTEST:  If a defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and either a fine is imposed and/or an alternative disposition of the case is entered.  The amount of the fine assessed is determined by the facts of the case.  Mitigating or aggravating circumstances may lower or raise the fine.  Fines in the Municipal Court can range from $1 to $2,000 depending on the offense.  Questions concerning specific fines and costs should be addressed to the court.

NOT GUILTY:  A plea of not guilty will result in the case being set for trial (either with a jury or without a jury).  A jury of six (6) members will be selected to hear each jury case.  If the defendant is found not guilty, no fine or court costs are owed and no conviction is reported on the defendant’s record.  If the defendant is found guilty, a fine and court costs will be imposed and a conviction will be recorded.
FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT

Failure to appear in court on the scheduled court date (or before) may result in the filing of additional criminal charges, the issuance of an arrest warrant, and the imposition of additional fines and costs.

COURTROOM STANDARDS
While your case is proceeding through the court system, please observe the following rules and standards of conduct:

  1. No weapons of any type are permitted in the Municipal Court.
  2. Sit quietly in the courtroom whenever court is in session.
  3. When addressing the Judge, do not lean on the bench, table, or podium.
  4. No food or drinks are allowed in the courtroom.
  5. Smoking is prohibited in all City buildings.
  6. Hats should be removed before entering the courtroom.
  7. Please wear suitable clothing to court.  No shorts, tank tops, bathing suits, or other inappropriate clothing will be allowed.
  8. Avoid bringing small children to court.  If you must, please monitor their behavior so they remain quiet at all times.  Parents will be asked to leave the courtroom if their childrren become noisy or unruly.
JUVENILES
A person is considered a juvenile if the person is at least ten (10) years old but under seventeen (17) years old.

The following rules apply to juveniles subject to court jurisdiction:

  • Parents or legal guardians of juveniles who are defendants in the Sweeny Municipal Court are required to be present during all proceedings with the juvenile.
  • All juveniles are required by state law to appear in open court for all proceedings with a parent or legal guardian.
  • Failure to comply with requirements or failure to complete all terms regarding juvenile charges may result in additional charges against the parent and child.  In addition, such failure may result in the juvenile having his/her driver’s license suspended or prevent the juvenile from obtaining a driver’s license from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
  • Juvenile defendants charged with an alcohol and/or tobacco related offense will be required to complete an alcohol awareness or tobacco awareness course (as applicable).  This is in addition to any fine and/or court cost assessed by the judge.
  • Visit Texas Health & Human Services for lists of alcohol and tobacco education programs.
BAILIFF
The Sweeny Municipal Court employs a bailiff for court security.  The bailiff is a contracted off-duty police officer.  The bailiff is responsible for court security, including:

  • Searching the courtroom and surrounding offices for contraband/weapons
  • Opening and closing the court to defendants, court participants, and visitors
  • Observing/monitoring all persons in and around the court
  • Conducting searches via metal detectors
  • Bringing court proceedings to order
  • Maintaining order and peace in the court
  • Removing and/or instructing any person as per the Judge’s orders
  • Detaining and/or arresting persons per the Judge’s orders
CONCEALED HANDGUNS PROHIBITED IN COURT BUILDINGS

Under Texas law (Penal Code, Section 46.03), the carrying of concealed handguns in any court building is prohibited.  It is a crime punishable as a Third Degree Felony.  An individual adjudged guilty of a Third Degree Felony may be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for any term of not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.  In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a Third Degree Felony may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.