The City of Sugar Land Municipal Court is a “Court of Record.” Appeals from a Court of Record are based on a defect in the application of law during a Bench or Jury Trial. When appealing a case from a Court of Record, the appeal is NOT a re-trial. The case will be heard by the higher court from a transcription. The basic steps for an appeal at the Sugar Land Municipal Court of Record are listed below:
- A motion for an appeal must be submitted to the Municipal Court within 10 days of the conviction.
- The appeal bond (set at the time of judgement, usually twice the total amount of the fines, costs, and fees) must be paid at the time the motion is submitted for the Judge’s approval.
- Once the motion for appeal is approved, the defendant must order a Reporter’s Record (transcript of the trial) to be submitted to appellate court.
- A $75 deposit is required
- The cost is usually $5 per page and $10 for binding
- The preparation of the record may take several weeks
- The Municipal Court Judge must approve the record and promptly file the approved record with the appellate court.
- The Reporter’s Record will be filed with the appellate court who will review the record of the case and decide whether or not an error in the application of law was made. The case will not be re-tried. The outcomes possible are listed below:
- Affirm the trial court’s decision – the trial court decision stands and you must pay the fine and court costs assessed.
- Reverse the trial court’s decision and remand for a new trial – the new trial will be at the trial court level.
- Reverse and render a decision in your favor – the trial court will be directed to enter a judgement of acquittal.
Allow 15 days for the appellate court to respond with the findings of the appeal. Depending on the volumn of cases and other circumstances, the decision may be delayed.