Texas Attorney General Opinion: JC-25 Page: 2 of 5
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The Honorable William T. Hill, Jr. - Page 2
(A) $2,000, in all cases arising under municipal ordinances that
govern fire safety, zoning, or public health and sanitation, including dumping
of refuse; or
(B) $500 in all other cases arising under a municipal ordinance.
TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN. 29.003 (Vernon Supp. 1999) (emphasis added); see also TEX. CODE
CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 4.14 (Vernon Supp. 1999) (containing identical provision for municipal court
jurisdiction). As a general rule, then, a municipal court only has jurisdiction to enforce ordinance
violations occurring within the corporate limits of a city.
Where a municipal court is established as a "municipal court of record," however, its
jurisdiction may reach beyond city limits. Appeals from municipal courts of record must be based
upon errors in the record set out in the defendant's motion for new trial, see TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN.
30.00013 (Vernon Supp. 1999), while appeals from regular municipal courts must be tried de novo
in county court, see TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 45.10 (Vernon Supp. 1999). Under the
general law for municipal courts of record, the governing body of a city may establish its courts as
municipal courts of record "if the formation of municipal courts of record is necessary to provide
a more efficient disposition of appeals from the municipal court." TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN.
30.00002 (Vernon Supp. 1999).
The jurisdiction of a general municipal court of record is broader than that of a regular
municipal court, as follows:
(a) A municipal court of record has the jurisdiction provided by general
law for municipal courts.
(b) The court hasjurisdiction ofcriminal cases arising under ordinances
authorized by [Local Government Code sections 215.072, 217.042, 341.903,
Id. 30.00005 (emphasis added). The ordinances described in subsection (b) are ordinances that
may be applied outside of a city's boundaries, including a nuisance ordinance enacted pursuant to
Local Government Code section 217.042. Thus municipal courts of record established pursuant to
the general law for municipal courts of record have express jurisdiction over certain criminal cases
arising from ordinance violations outside city limits.
Your predecessor informed us that the City of Wylie has not established its municipal court
as a municipal court of record. Wylie's municipal court thus does not have expressjurisdiction over
cases arising from ordinance violations outside city limits. We consider, therefore, whether
jurisdiction may be implied. "[J]urisdiction may be conferred upon a court by necessary implication
as effectually as by express terms." Spence v. Fenchler, 180 S.W. 597, 601 (Tex. 1915); see
Eichelberger v. Eichelberger, 582 S.W.2d 395, 399 (Tex. 1979).
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: JC-25, text, 1999; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth274334/m1/2/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.