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Samuel-II, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  I have been handling minor traffic offenses for more than 20 years.
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I live in precinct 5 of Houston/ County Texas. I received a

Customer Question

I live in precinct 5 of Houston/Harris County Texas. I received a speeding ticket around my home from an officer who was a Harris County police officer but his precinct is 4 which is almost an hour away from my home. The ticket requires me to go to court
in his precinct. Does he have jurisdiction to issue me a ticket? Additionally if he does, how does the judge have jurisdiction over the case when he only has jurisdiction within his precinct of 4?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 2 years ago.


This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

You discuss precincts, however, please tell me are precinct 5 and 4 in the same county?

Expert:  Samuel-II replied 2 years ago.

If the precincts are in the same county, then the officer has jurisdiction. This is generally done via a Memorandum of Understanding between the counties.

Here is a copy of the Texas Attorney General's Opinion on such matters.

Within the Opinion you will find the following:
As a practical matter a constable exercising law enforcement duties will naturally focus on the precinct that elected the constable. But a constable’s authority as a peace officer does not end at the precinct boundary. SeeTex. Att’y Gen. Op.Nos. O-3969 (1941) at 3-4,0-1565 (1939) at 4-5. Consequently, the constable in the example you pose would have the statutory authority to patrol and perform other peace officer duties on school district property within the constable’s county, even though a portion of the property lies partially outside the constable’s precinct.

Please let me know if you have other questions in this regard. Keep in mind, I can only answer and provide information for what you ask. I do not know what you need to know, unless you tell me. Please rate positive as this is how I get credit for my time and information.

Thank you

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I can understand that they have jurisdiction to issue the ticket. But why if they are in precinct 5 should I be required to go to court in Precinct 4 instead of Precinct 5 where the ticket was given? Shouldn't the court of jurisdiction be the one to hear the case?The same goes for a civil case within the county. I'm in Precinct 5, but I can't go to Precinct 4 to open a small claims case against someone as it has to be filed in the area of jurisdiction.
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 2 years ago.

Thank you

According to the Attorney General's opinion the answer to that question is no. It is not about precinct but rather by County and if the precincts are in the same county, then it has jurisdiction. I suggest you can file a motion to dismiss based on improper jurisdiction. And if the court agrees the matter will be dismissed and then precinct 4 will need to hear the matter.

Expert:  Samuel-II replied 2 years ago.

I know you disagree with this. But I did not write the Attorney General's opinion and all I can do is provide the true and correct information for you.