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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 32354
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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Can you request a court reporter in a Texas municipal court

Customer Question

Can you request a court reporter in a Texas municipal court that is not of record.
How do I request a copy of the complaint?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. Are you asking if you can request that court reporter be present to record a hearing in a court that typically does not have a court reporter? Also, what complaint are you asking about? In a civil or a criminal case?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
A municipal court for a city ordinance violation.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I know court of records you can, but this city is not a court of record.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
You can file a motion with the court to have a court reporter transcribe the proceedings but the cost will be on you. It's unusual but it is within the judge's discretion to allow it.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
On me if I'm found guilty or period?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
Period. If you want a court reporter in a court of non-record if the judge allows it at all they will usually make you pay for it. The judge could pay for it but I've never seen them do it and I have seen them make the requesting party pay for it.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Would it be better to file an appeal bond and move it to county court? Is that possible with a city ordinance violation?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
Usually the appeal is to a county court, which is a court of record. I have heard that there are some municipalities in Texas that have a different appeals procedure set up but I haven't see any yet and don't know how they could do that because the appeal process is set up by the legislature. Still, you would want to be sure that your appeal is to the County Court before you file anything else. The clerk of the court could tell you for sure.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can I do discovery and just run a bunch of paperwork thru the city requesting stuff and prior to the court date appeal it to county? This charge was a chicken crap charge that will not stick. Are their limitations on what I can ask for in a discovery? IE: body camera footage, emails on city computers, txt messages? Should I do discovery and a open records act consisting of the same questions at the same time?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
In curts that aren't of record there are limits as to what discovery can be done. The municipal court isn't covered by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure so you have to go by the Texas Rules of Criminal Procedure which means you can file a Motion for Discovery but you have to get a ruling on it from the court. you're only limited by what the judge will allow. You can try and open records request but they don't apply to police department investigations that are still open and many police departments will just ignore the request or send it back with an explanation that they aren't bound by it. I'd just use the discovery motion. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you each time but I'm under the weather today and amd only on the computer for a little while at a time.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
So it's basically not even a fair system since the judge is employed by the city and so is everyone else. I should be entitled to anything that they plan on using as evidence right?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
Yes, so long as you file discovery and ask for it. To be honest, it's the same way it works in every criminal case, and a ticket case is what is known as "quasi criminal".
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
Run a Google search using the terms:texas criminal motion for discovery and alsotexas brady letter and then use those. You have to have a hearing and get an order signed for the discovery but the Brady letter requires them to send you anything "exculpatory" just by you sending the letter.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
So under the motion for disclosure of all evidence favorable to the defendant under Brady I should ask for video recording, policies and procedures, trainings, maintenance and calibration records?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
No, a Brady letter is very non-detailed. Once you find one on the web, you'll see what I mean. A Brady letter is based on a case that says once a defendant has request all "exculpatory material" it has to be provided. You don't want to be specific in that because you then limit yourself and their duty. Read about Brady on wikipedia, it actually has a good entry on it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brady_disclosure There's also a Powerpoint made into a PDF about it at https://www.stmarytx.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Reamey.pdf A Motion for Discovery should be both specific and general. Anything specific you can think of, list it, then do your general requests as well. Look at http://www.tyla.org/tyla/assets/File/CriminalLawToolkit.pdf for extra info
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Is this a good start for a motion for discover and public records request>1. Any and all citations to include but not limited to warnings verbal and written, issued pursuant to the City of Nassau Bay, TX – Code of Ordinances, Ordinance No. 02007.
2. A copy of each Dispatch Call Sheet for PD, EMS and FIRE on March 21, 2016 between the hours of 1300-1430. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
3. A copy of any and all MDT messages on March 21, 2016 with/between Nassau Bay Dispatch, PD, EMS and Fire. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
4. A copy of all Body Camera’s and vehicle mounted video/audio recordings from Nassau Bay Police officer G. Sharp, K. Sullivan, M. Velasco and their assigned unit(s) for March 21, 2016. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
5. A copy of the City of Nassau Bay Police Departments policies and procedures for the usage of Body Camera’s.
6. A copy of any/all Calibration, maintenance and training records for the Body Camera’s that were worn by Nassau Bay Police officer G. Sharp, K. Sullivan and M. Velasco on March 21, 2016. If no such records exist please write a statement to that effect. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
7. A copy of any/all certifications/trainings to include but not limited dates and locations of said training held by Nassau Bay Police officer G. Sharp. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
8. A copy of any/all certifications/trainings to include but not limited to dates and locations of said training held by Nassau Bay Police officer K. Sullivan. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
9. A copy of any/all certifications/trainings to include but not limited dates and locations of said training held by Nassau Bay Police officer M. Velasco. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
10. A copy of any/all certifications/trainings to include but not limited dates and locations of said training held by Nassau Bay employee T. George. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
11. A copy of any emails, letters, txt messages, pictures in which Windsor EMS, Windsor EMS, Inc., Windsor Leasing, Inc., Ryan Lynn, Jeff Lynn, Nancee Lynn or any Windsor employees are mentioned or referenced to from any city computer, phone system, cell phone, email account or any other form of communication. (Please redact any information in which you feel does not fall under The Public Information Act. Please provide a statement of what was redacted and your contention for doing so.)
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
We're extremely limited as to what we can tell you about motions, contents, etc. but I can tell you that that looks pretty good. I wouldn't mention the part on #3 and following about the Public Information Act. If they don't know about it you don't want to give them a reason to start looking. In addition, it's called the Texas Open Records Act.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If self representing am I able to request brady? For claification this is correct for my filing and then list each question below?TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
NOW COMES JEFFREY R. LYNN, Defendant, respectfully ***** ***** Honorable Court, and the principles of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419, 436 (1995), for an order directing the State to make inquiry and disclose all the following within the possession, custody, or control of the State, or the existence of which is known or, with the exercise of due diligence, could become known to the State:
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
should you also do a regular discovery first and then request brady or does it not matter?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.
Yes, you can make a Brady request, or any other request, regardless of whether you are representing yourself or not. As I said, you don't direct the letter or make a motion to the judge for Brady, it is a letter send to the Prosecutor. If you direct it to the judge it must have ruling on it whereas a Brady letter sent to the prosecutor automatically has to be followed.