Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 at 1:23 pm
While McAllen is only the 22nd largest city in the state of Texas, it does have the recognition for having two courthouses. This is due to the fact that in addition to their local courthouse for municipal hearings, it is also the home of the Southern Texas Federal Court. Whether you are going to face a trial yourself or will be attending for other reasons, there are some things that you will want to know about the rules and procedures that differ at these two locations.
The federal court is officially known as the United States District and Bankruptcy Court: Southern District of Texas. This is where local federal cases are held. Due to the fact that it is federal court there are a number of rules enforced that are not typically seen in an average courtroom. One of the biggest differences is that you must supply identification in order to be allowed into the courthouse. Clearly this is for safety and security measures to ensure that all present are accounted for.
Another rule that differs from most other courts is that you are not permitted to enter will a cell phone. This is to ensure the confidentiality regarding the cases that are held there. Lawyers are permitted to bring in other devices that may be connected wirelessly, such as laptops, but any type of recording that may be done or use of these devices in the courtroom must be approved by the residing judge before it can occur.
This court is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The holidays observed include all federal holidays. If you have any questions as to whether or not they are open you can call to confirm before you make the trip. It is located at 1703 W. Business Hwy 83 in McAllen, Texas.
The McAllen Municiple Court is much like other courts that you may have experienced in the past. However, one rule that you might not expect is that you are not permitted to bring any purses, briefcases or other types of bags into the courtroom. It is recommended to leave these in your vehicle and simply bring in any documentation that you wish to present in court by hand. While there aren’t stipulations regarding an appropriate manner of dress, it is generally advised that you appear in clothing that is free from holes and is at least business casual. Your appearance is a means of showing respect to the law. It is also important to know that if you have a case in which you desire to appear you can do so in person, but you can also handle your initial appearance by mail or email. This is due to the fact that you will simply be entering a plea and the trial will then be set and communicated to you.
Regardless of your reasons for entering any courthouse it is important to understand what is expected of you. Keep the above information in mind if you ever need to visit either of these locations.