A Justice of the Peace handles both civil and criminal cases filed in Justice Courts. A Justice Court is commonly known as a "Peoples' Court". A Justice Court may preside over administrative hearings and lawsuits over debts, evictions, car accidents, unlawful towing and property.
A Justice of the Peaces' criminal workload involves disposing of all class C criminal misdemeanors complaints such as traffic citations, non traffic citations, and issuance of a bad check. These cases involve payment for court cost and fees, setting contested cases for pre trial hearings with county prosecutor and trials with a judge or jury. A Justice Court may offer a defendant various way to dispose of cases by offering 30 day extensions to pay, community service or indigence (case-by-case basis).
A Justice of the Peace reviews and/or grants applications for mental health commitments and gives warnings to juveniles required by law. They may also issue warrants and conduct hearings concerning seizure and disposition of cruelly treated animals.
A Justice of the peace also performs inquests with local law enforcement agencies and hospitals.
It is highly encouraged for a defendant in a criminal case or any party in a civil case to contact the court before coming in person, most matters may be handled over the phone. We are currently accepting civil filings via mail and/or drop off in person. Any requests for criminal cases may be submitted via fax or email for review. Our court is currently utilizing the ZOOM application for any scheduled court hearings and is offering the option for both virtual or in person court hearings. Our staff can be reached at (956) 519-8422, email firstname.lastname@example.org and fax (956)519- 1796. Traffic ticket payments can be processed online with a debit or credit card at pay.hidalgocounty.us. Please keep in mind only money orders or cashier's check will be accepted at the clerical windows.