Information for attorneys representing defendants in Tomball Municipal Court
Tomball Municipal Court Policies for Attorneys
Revised May 1, 2017
Letters of Representation:
A letter of representation is required. Once submitted, you will become the attorney of record for your client’s case until such time as the case is finally disposed or your written request to withdraw is granted by the Court.
If you have Standing Agreements with other attorneys to appear in your absence on behalf of your client, you must provide the names of all such attorneys in your letter of representation.
Requests for Continuance:
A written Motion for Continuance is required, and your motion must be submitted no less than 24 hours prior to “Initial Appearance” Dockets, “Attorney Conference” Dockets, or “Pre-Trial” Dockets and no less than 10 calendar days prior to Trial Dockets.
Faxed or emailed motions will be accepted, but you must also mail an original motion to the Court. Each request for reset will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Continuances will be liberally granted to attorneys as long as diligent plea negotiations are taking place. The Court will balance the need for a reset based on the legitimate time conflicts experienced by attorneys and the Court’s need to move its docket.
If your Motion for Continuance is granted, you will be sent a letter or email notifying you of the new court setting.
If your client’s case does not progress adequately after multiple continuances, the Court may set your case to the “Pre-trial” Docket and require you and/or your client to appear in person.
As the attorney of record, you or any attorney listed on your letter of representation may appear for your client at an "Initial Appearance" Docket or "Attorney Conference" Docket in order to discuss the case with the prosecutor, enter a plea, or obtain a reset without the Defendant having to appear.
Generally, Defendants must appear at "Pre-Trial" Docket settings. However, the Court may on a case-by-case basis allow you to appear at a “Pre-trial” Docket without your client. Defendants and attorneys must both appear in person when the Court orders a hearing under Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 28.01.
No case may be scheduled for trial until the Defendant and/or his attorney appear in person for a “Pre-trial” Docket.
The State must appear in person and comply with all mandatory discovery requirements at the “Pre-Trial” Docket.
Defendants as well as attorneys MUST appear in person for all Trial Docket settings.
If you and your client fail to appear in person at any docket hearing and no continuance is granted, a “Failure to Appear” charge may be filed against your client.
You may be able to dispose of your case without ever having to appear in person for a Docket.
If you conduct email negotiations, you must request monthly continuances to keep your client’s case on our active Docket until your case is finally disposed.
If you wish to enter a plea of “Guilty” or “No Contest” without appearing in person or sending your client to appear in person, you must obtain your client’s signature on the Court’s official plea form and mail the original to the Court. The form is available on the Tomball Municipal Court website.
If your client wishes to pay his fine in installments, then he/she must appear in person during business hours to complete a payment plan application.
Other payment options, including an online payment option, are explained on the Tomball Municipal Court website.
Posting an Attorney Bond:
In order to post an attorney bond, you must be on the approved Harris County Surety list.
The Court does not accept out of county bonds.