To provide access to effective and efficient justice through a timely, fair and impartial resolution of cases.
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.
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. As such, the Palestine Municipal Court will continue to conduct proceedings remotely.
eCourt appearances allow defendants to handle court cases (see requirements below) via a video conference with the Judge through the use of Zoom 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 is strictly enforced. Inappropriate attire will not be permitted. The dress code is the same as if you were appearing in person in the courtroom.
- Avoid background noise. Ensure your environment is conducive to attending virtually.
- Avoid distractions. Turn off and put away any and all distractions so your full attention is given to the proceedings (i.e. driving, social media, texting)
- 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 a judge or jury. Notice will be mailed 2 to 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.