Municipal Court

Courtney Acklin

Tyra Gabriel

Amber Petri

Hon. Brenda Johnston

Presiding Judge

Hon. James Todd

Associate Judge

Palestine City Hall

504 N. Queen Street
Palestine, TX 75801

903-731-8400

Hours:
Monday - Thursday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

City of Palestine Municipal Court

Mission Statement
To provide access to effective & efficient justice through a timely, fair & impartial resolution of cases.

Vision Statement
To provide equal access to a fair and effective system of justice for all without excess cost, inconvenience or delay with sensitivity to an increasingly diverse society.

The Municipal Court is the judicial branch of the government of the City of Palestine. It is committed to administering justice in a fair, efficient, and timely manner. The City of Palestine Municipal Court's primary function to process all Class "C" Criminal charges filed by the Police Division, Fire Marshals and Code Enforcement Officers. These include charges filed under the Texas Transportation Code, Penal Code, Alcoholic Beverage Code, Health and Safety Code, Education Code and Palestine Code of Ordinances. Court services are increasingly available online, by telephone, email, and through the mail which contributes to compliance in a customer service and eco-friendly way.

****NOTICE****

May 18, 2021, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34 strongly encouraging individuals to continue wearing face coverings over the nose and mouth whenever social distancing is not possible, but stating that no person can be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering. However, judges possess broad inherent authority to control orderly proceedings in their courtrooms, and pursuant to that authority, they can require individuals in the courtroom to wear facial coverings and may require any person entering the courthouse in which they preside to wear a facial covering while in the courthouse. Executive Order GA-34 does not alter the Supreme Court’s current emergency order, the ability of a judge to control his or her courtroom, or requirements for those entering a court building who will be attending a court proceeding. As such, the Palestine Municipal Court will continue to conduct proceedings remotely.  

eCourt appearances allows defendants to handle court cases (see requirements below) via a video conference with the Judge through the use of ZOOM ( see link below) on either your computer or wireless device.

eCourt Courtrooms are the same as Actual Courtrooms

Please adhere to the following Rule of Court Conduct and Decorum:

Failure to follow these guidelines will prompt the Court to remove the Defendant from the virtual courtroom until compliance is achieved.

  • Everyone enters the virtual courtroom on mute. When it is your turn to be addressed the clerk will remove the mute feature.
  • Proper clothing strictly enforced. Inappropriate attire will not be permitted. Dress code is the same as if you were appearing in-person in the courtroom.
  • Avoid background noise. Ensure your environment in conducive to attend virtually.
  • Avoid distractions. Turn off and put away any and all distractions so your full attention is given to the proceedings (i.e. texting, social media, driving)
  • You will be discussing personal matters in open court so these proceedings are NOT to be recorded.
  • Proper respect for the Court process shall be adhered to at all times.

Requirements to Appear via eCourt, you MUST have:

  • A device capable of accessing an internet connection (PC, MAC, Smart Phone, Tablet, etc.). You must install the ZOOM APP on your device before the video conference begins if you do not already have the app.
  • A fast and stable internet connection.
  • A webcam attached to your PC or a built-in mic that will allow you to talk to the Judge and your device must also have speakers attached or built-in that will allow you to hear what the judge is saying to you.
  • A working email address; you may need to email images or documents for the Judge’s review.
  • You will be required to provide the Court with a working email address and mobile phone number to ensure future successful contact with the Court.

At your eCourt Appearance, you can (applies to Class C misdemeanors):

  • Request a trial by judge or jury. Notice will be mailed 2-3 weeks in advance, on a later date. Please note that trials may or may not be able to be held via the eCourt appearance and may require the Defendant to appear in person at the Palestine  Municipal Court located at 504 North Queen Street, Palestine, Texas 75801.
  • Enter a plea of GUILTY or NO CONTEST. All pleas entered in open court are legal and binding, and defendants have the  same rights and responsibilities as if the plea had been entered in open court. Defendants who plead guilty or no contest via the eCourt appearance have the same opportunities for payment plans, compliance dismissals, driver safety course, or deferred disposition.
  • **IMPORTANT** Your ZOOM ID must match your Court Case File to expedite your eDocket Appearance.  Failure to ensure your FIRST NAME and LAST NAME are YOUR ZOOM ID will delay your eDocket appearance. 

 

CRIMINAL DOCKETS FOR JULY 21, 2021

View the docket below:

July 21, 2021 Arraignment Docket-9:00am

July 21, 2021 Show Cause Docket-1:30pm

Please check-in 15 minutes early.

Click the link below to attend the eCourt Appearance for July 21, 2021

https://txcourts.zoom.us/j/93211872217

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Pre-Trial Docket: 

 

Click the link below to attend the Pre-Trial eCourt Appearance:

Trial Docket (in-person):

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**PLEASE NOTE: While the Court will make every effort to handle your case(s) via eCourt, unfortunately that may not be possible in all circumstances.**                                                                                    

Payment Requirements:

  • If Deferred Disposition is ordered, you may be given until the end of the deferral period to pay the applicable fee(s).
  • If a Driving Safety Course is ordered you will have until the end of the next business day to pay the applicable fee(s).
  • Alternatives to Payments: If you are assessed fines and court costs as a result of this citation and you are unable to pay, bring this to the attention of the judge.

 

**Defendants are encouraged to contact court staff for available options that does not require an appearance.**

**Call the court at 903-731-8433 for questions.**

If a defendant defaults in the discharge of the judgment and sentence of the Court, a hearing will be scheduled pursuant to Tex. Code Crim. Pro. Art. 45.046. The show-cause docket is normally scheduled on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. 

Discharge of Fines and Costs

A defendant may discharge fine and costs that have been imposed as a result of judgment as follows:

  1. Pay the fine and costs immediately.
  2. Pay the fine and costs at a later date.
  3. Pay the fine and costs at designated intervals.
  4. If the court determines that the defendant has insufficient resources to pay the fine and costs, the defendant may perform community service to discharge the fine and costs.
  5. If the court determines that the defendant is indigent or does not have sufficient resources or income to pay all or part of the fine and costs, or was a child at the time of the commission of the offense, the court may waive all or part of the fine and costs if discharging the fine and costs by the methods listed above would constituent an undue hardship of the defendant.
  6. The court may, in appropriate circumstances, order the fine and costs discharged by a combination of the methods listed above.