518 Houston Street, Wills Point, Texas 75169
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 505, Wills Point, Texas 75169
Phone: (903) 873-4530 : Option 2
Fax: (903) 873-5512
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 8 am – 12 pm (CLOSED for lunch) 1 pm – 5:00 pm
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT UNTIL AT LEAST 3 BUSINESS DAYS
FROM THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF THE CITATION.
NEITHER THE JUDGE OR THE CLERK CAN GIVE YOU LEGAL ADVICE,
AND NEITHER WILL DO SO.
The City of Wills Point Municipal Court is the Judicial Branch of City Government.The Municipal Court has jurisdiction over all fine-only offenses that have been committed within the Wills Point city limits. These offenses consist of Class C Misdemeanors only, which include Traffic, Parking, State Penal Code and City Ordinance violations, all of which have fine only penalties. These cases consist of citations written by the Wills Point Police Department, Department of Public Safety and Code Enforcement. The Municipal Court maintains all court records, ensures the orderly conduct of court sessions and accounts for all matters involving the Municipal Court.The mission of the Municipal Court is to provide citizens with a fair and impartial court of law by interpreting and adjudicating applicable state laws and city ordinances. Our pledge is to continue this commitment and offer courteous customer service to all citizens.
Municipal Court Personnel:
Judge Maria Goggans
Prosecutor – Justin Beckham
THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF CASES CANNOT BE PAID ONLINE:
Driving Safety Course and Deferred Disposition – Driving Safety Course and Deferred Disposition must be negotiated through the Court. These payments must be made directly to the Court, unless specifically authorized by the Court to the contrary.
Juveniles – If you are 16 years of age or younger, you are required to appear in open Court with a parent or legal guardian. Payments may not be made online to avoid Court appearances.
Alcohol offenses under 21 years of age – Alcohol related offenses carry additional requirements and therefore you must appear in person before the Court.
Tobacco offenses under 18 years of age – Tobacco related offenses carry additional requirements and therefore you must appear in person before the Court.
ONLINE PARTIAL PAYMENTS ARE ACCEPTED ONLY IF AN INSTALLMENT AGREEMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR YOU BY THE JUDGE.
PAYMENTS MADE BY MAIL OR IN PERSON ARE ACCEPTED BY CASH, CASHIER’S CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE PAYABLE TO THE WILLS POINT MUNICIPAL COURT
SCHEDULE FOR COURT HEARINGS:
Appearance hearings: At the hearing you will enter your plea and if you plea guilty or no contest the Judge will discuss the case further with you at that time. If you plea not guilty, the Judge cannot and will not discuss your case with you, and the Court Clerk will schedule your case for a pre-trial hearing with the City Prosecutor.
Juvenile Hearings (16 years of age and under) and Minor in Possession Hearings (17-21 years of age) : Are set by the Clerk of the Court on the first Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Notice of the hearing will be mailed to the Defendant at the address listed on the citation.
Pre-trial conferences and trial settings: Are set by the Clerk of the Court when defendant enters a plea. Notice of the hearing will be mailed to the Defendant at the address listed on the citation, or given to you at the time you enter your plea in person.
Indigency Hearing: Are set by the Clerk of the Court on the third Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m.
Show cause hearings: Are set by the Clerk of the Court on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m.
Local Rules for the City of Wills Point Municipal Court:
Appearance Instructions – You must appear in person or represented by your attorney in the Wills Point Municipal Court no later than the date stated on your copy of the citation. You can appear before your court date provided your case is filed with the court, which takes three to five business days from the issue date of the citation. Please note that telephone calls do not constitute an appearance.
You may dispose of your case prior to your court date by one of the following methods:
If you wish to plead “Not Guilty”, you must appear in person before the court date stated on your citation to enter your plea. If you wish to be represented by counsel, your attorney must file a written notice of legal representation with the Court before your court date.
Not Guilty – When you enter this plea, you are stating to the Court that you believe you are innocent of the charge and wish to have your case placed on the pre-trial docket prior to scheduling the case for trial. You may request a trial by the Court, or a jury trial. Your case will be set for a pre-trial hearing and you will meet with the prosecuting attorney at that hearing. If you are found guilty at the trial of your case, the Judge or jury will exercise its discretion in determining the amount of the fine, court costs and any additional costs and fees authorized by State law that will be assessed against you. If you are found not guilty at the trial, you will not be required to pay any fine or court costs. If you believe you are not guilty, you should enter that plea and set your case for trial.
If you wish to plead guilty or “no contest” and pay any fines and costs incurred, you must appear in person at our offices on or before the appearance date listed on your citation, or if appearing by mail your correspondence must be postmarked on or before the appearance date listed on your citation to avoid an additional offense of Violation of Promise to Appear, which will cause you to incur additional fines and court costs. If you wish to be represented by counsel, your attorney must file a written notice of legal representation with the Court on or before your court date.
Guilty – Entering this plea means that you are admitting to the offense as charged. You will be required to pay the applicable fine, plus all court costs.
Nolo Contendre (or No Contest) – This plea means that you are “not contesting” the offense. You are not admitting that you committed the offense nor are you denying it either. However, you understand that you will still be responsible for paying the applicable fine plus all court costs. A “no contest” plea may not be used at a subsequent civil trial as evidence of guilt.
Driving Safety Course – If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest and you are under the age of 25, you are required to take a Driving Safety Course and must: (1) enter your plea of nolo contendere or guilty, either in person or by certified mail on or before the court appearance date listed on the citation; (3) provide proof of financial responsibility; and (3) pay court costs in the amount of $109.10; or $134.10 if the offense was committed in a school zone, at the time that you are ordered to take the Driving Safety Course.
To be eligible for the Driving Safety Course, you must meet the following requirements:
1. If speeding violation, must not exceed 25 miles over the speed limit;
2. Must not have taken the course in the past 12 months;
3. Must have a valid Texas driver’s license or permit or proof of active military duty;
4. Must not have or held a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL); and
5. Must not have committed violation in a work zone with workers present.
Deferred Disposition – If you wish to be placed on deferred disposition you must meet the following requirements: (1) enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere either in person or by mail on or before the court appearance date listed on your citation, and request Deferred Disposition; and (2) pay at least the amount of the court costs at the beginning of the deferral period.
If the Judge grants your request for deferred disposition, you will be placed on a 30 day deferral period, during which you cannot be convicted of the same offense for which you have been placed on deferred disposition. You will be required to sign an Affidavit of No Other Violations in front of a Notary Public, the Court Clerk or Judge and file same with the Court, at the end of the deferral period, and the fine and court costs will have to have been paid in full by the end of the deferral period. If you do not file an Affidavit of No Other Violations with the Court at the end of the deferral period, then you will not have complied with the terms of the deferred disposition and you will receive a conviction on your record, rather than a compliance dismissal.
A SELF-ADDRESSED, STAMPED ENVELOPE MUST ACCOMPANY ALL CORRESPONDENCE BY MAIL IN ORDER FOR DOCUMENTATION TO BE RETURNED TO YOU BY MAIL.
If you are a JUVENILE or a MINOR charged with a Tobacco or Alcohol related offense, DO NOT MAIL PAYMENT. YOU MUST APPEAR IN PERSON AT A JUVENILE HEARING OR MINOR IN POSSESSION HEARING.
Juveniles (ages 10-16) MUST APPEAR IN COURT WITH A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN. Notification of the hearing date and time will be mailed to the defendant’s address listed on the citation.
Alcohol or Tobacco by a Minor Offenses (Ages 17-20) MUST APPEAR IN COURT. You must contact the Court on or before the date shown on your citation, to schedule a hearing before the Court, and notification of the hearing date and time will be mailed to the defendant’s address listed on the citation.
FAILURE TO APPEAR OR PAY YOUR FINE WILL RESULT IN AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE OF EITHER FAILURE TO APPEAR OR VIOLATION OF PROMISE TO APPEAR WHICH CARRIES A MAXIMUM PENALTY OF $500.00. IN ADDITION, YOU MAY BE PREVENTED FROM REGISTERING YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE, DENIED RENEWAL OF YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE AND WARRANTS WILL BE ISSUED FOR YOUR ARREST. A TELEPHONE CALL TO THE COURT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN APPEARANCE.
Dismissals Allowed by Statute Are:
Responsibility – It is the responsibility of all persons with business before the Court to determine the date, time and nature of each setting of their case(s) and to update or notify the Court of any changes of address of the Defendant and/or of counsel for the Defendant.
Notices from the Court – notices mailed from the Court will be addressed to the last known address of a party and/or counsel for the party.
Conduct Required of all Persons Attending Court or Conducting Business with the Court:
1. No smoking or use of tobacco products, including snuff or chewing tobacco;
2. No reading of extraneous materials, such as books, newspapers or magazines;
3. No propping feet or sitting on tables, railings, or on the backs of benches or chairs;
4. No loud noises;
5. No eating of food, drinking of beverages, or chewing and/or popping of gum;
6. No standing in the Courtroom, unless there is not adequate seating available and in no instances is standing allowed in front of the Bailiff or in front of the Bench, except when
addressing the Court, or by direction from the Judge, or as necessitated by the business of the Court;
7. No gestures, facial expressions, or sounds indicating approval or disapproval of a ruling by the Court or a comment of a witness;
8. No inappropriate attire, including shorts, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, t-shirts, low pants with underwear showing, and/or inappropriate “message” shirts.
9. No small children in the courtroom and no unattended children in the courtroom;
10. No cellular telephone use and no pagers are to sound in the courtroom. Cellular telephones and pages must be silenced;
11. No hats or head coverings including scarves, bandanas or do-rags shall be worn in the courtroom unless such items are religious in nature; and
12. No person other than the Judge who is presiding, or a peace officer who has a current appropriate license shall possess a weapon in the courthouse.
Complaint – a copy of the Complaint will be made available to the Defendant and/or Defendant’s counsel upon request to the Court. A self-addressed stamped envelope must be provided to the Court by the Defendant and/or its counsel.
Motions filed with the Court:
Motion for Continuance – All motions for continuance must be in writing and shall be filed with the Court at least three (3) working days prior to the scheduled court date. Such motions shall be filed immediately upon discovering the necessity for the continuance. Motions for Continuance require reasonable basis in fact and will not be granted for delay purposes, but only to ensure that justice is done. In all cases the ruling on a Motion for Continuance shall be the discretion of the Judge of the Court.
If a Defendant’s Motion for Continuance is denied, in order for the Defendant to avoid a warrant, a bond in the amount set by the court may be required to be posted, at the discretion of the Judge. It is the responsibility of the Defendant to determine whether the Motion was granted or denied and to determine whether a bond is required. If a State’s Motion for Continuance is denied, the case will proceed to trial, plea or other disposition.
Motions to Withdraw – Any attorney who makes an appearance on behalf of a Defendant or represents to the Court that he/she is the attorney of record for a party shall continue to be considered by the Court as the attorney of record for that Defendant until a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel is filed by that attorney and is granted by the Court.
Withdrawal Without a Hearing – A Motion to Withdraw as Counsel for Defendant may be granted without a hearing only if the moving attorney obtains an agreement by the State and files a verified certificate stating the last known mailing address of the Defendant and files along with the Motion a written consent to the withdrawal signed by the client which consent acknowledges that the Defendant has been advised of all future court settings.
Pre-trial Motions – Pre-trial motions shall be filed in writing with the Court and a copy of same shall be forwarded by the Defendant and/or Defendant’s counsel to the prosecuting attorney. All motions must be relevant and specific as to the case involved. A hearing on any Motions filed with the Court may be required by the Judge of the Court, and any requests for a hearing must be approved by the Judge of the Court. Failure to file pretrial Motions as indicated herein shall constitute a waiver of having those issues heard before trial. Unless leave of court has been granted, all pretrial Motions shall be filed at least 14 days prior to the trial date, and responses thereto, if any, shall be filed at least 7 days prior to the trial date. If a pretrial Motion has not been ruled upon before the trial date, such Motion shall be heard on the date of trial. Service of a Motion or Response may be made as provided by law. Each Motion or Response shall contain a certificate of service signed by the Movant indicating that a copy of such Motion or Response has been served upon the opposing party; the manner of service; and the date of service.
Case settings – a Defendant and/or its counsel may request that the case be set for a trial by jury or a trial before the Court.
Post Trial Proceedings – Pro Se defendants are admonished, due to the inherent complexities of appellate law, to seriously consider retaining counsel to represent them on appeal.
Inability to Pay Fine – If a Defendant does not appeal the Court’s decision, but claims indigency, the Defendant must complete an Application for Time Payment and/or Request for Community Service approved by the Court and attend an indigency hearing.
For a Schedule of Acceptable Window Fines and Court Costs – Window Fines and Court Costs are the fines and court costs that have been established by the Judge as acceptable to be paid by a Defendant when the case is disposed of outside of trial. DOWNLOAD THE CURRENT WINDOW FINES AND COURT COSTS COURTESY LETTER
Payment Plan Arrangements – Time payment agreements are available in certain instances, but there is an additional $25.00 fee added to the fine. The additional fee is required by State Law and cannot be waived by the Court. To request payment plan arrangements to satisfy payment of a Class C misdemeanor offense, you must be at least 18 years of age, complete an Application for Time Payment and appear in person with photo identification before the Judge at an indigency hearing. Indigency hearings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m.
Community Service – Performing community service to satisfy payment of the fine portion of your citation may be available in certain instances. In most instances, you will not be allowed to discharge court costs by performing community service. You will be required to fill out an application for Time Payment and/or Community Service, and must meet the Court’s criteria to be eligible to perform community service. You must appear in person with photo identification before the Judge at an indigency hearing, on or before the appearance date listed on the citation. Indigency hearings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m.