Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
Collin County is a county located just north of Dallas, Texas. This densely populated suburban county relies on several different types of courts to handle civil and criminal cases. What can you find in Collin County court records? And which courts would you get them from?
Municipal Court Records
Municipal courts are located in every incorporated city. These courts handle cases up to Class C misdemeanor criminal cases, though their authority overlaps with Justice of the Peace courts. The city or municipal courts handle issues like zoning, public safety, public health, building code and sanitation cases where fines are up to two thousand dollars. Some of the biggest municipal courts in Collin County are the Frisco Municipal Court, McKinney Municipal Court and Plano Municipal Court.
Constitutional County Court Records
Collin County like the other 253 counties in Texas has a single county court. The Collin County Courthouse is located in McKinney, Texas.
These county courts have jurisdiction over civil cases ranging from probate to class B misdemeanors. County courts can also hear justice of the peace cases and municipal cases upon appeal. County Clerks can provide records for the Collin County court.
If a county court case were appealed, it typically goes to an appellate court. There are 14 Courts of Appeals in Texas. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas located in downtown Dallas covers the greater Dallas area, including Collin County. A separate Court of Appeal serves the Fort Worth/Tarrant County area. The Court of Appeals records are maintained by the trial court clerks.
Justice of the Peace Court Records
Justice of the Peace courts handle very small cases. Texas caps the dollar amount involved in the case to 20,000 dollars. Collin County Justice of the Peace cases include traffic tickets, small claims and evictions. They can handle small misdemeanor cases, but they do not have the authority to send anyone to prison. Justice of the Peace courts will handle truancy cases. A justice of the peace can also marry someone, though they cannot grant a divorce. Records for the Justice of the Peace court are managed by the clerk for the Justice of the Peace.
District Court Records
District courts may serve several counties, but every county must be served by at least one district court. District courts have original jurisdiction on divorce cases, felony criminal cases, contested elections, divorces, any civil matter where there is too much controversy to be held in a lower court or any case where there is more than one jurisdiction involved. Collin County is served by the 380th District Court located in McKinney, Texas.
If you need to request district court records, you must request them from the District Clerk. However, things like arrest reports, 911 calls, traffic accident reports and jail bookings are police records, not court records. Police records are only available from the law enforcement agency that generates the report. For example, reports of arrests by Collin County sheriffs would be held by the Collin County Sheriff’s Office. If someone was arrested by municipal police officers, then you’d have to get these records from the Allan, Plano, Frisco or McKinney police departments.
Other Collin County Public Records Requests
Most court records are open records, though they may not fall under the guidelines of the Texas Public Information Act. A classic public record information request in Collin County would be sent to the Public Information Office in McKinney, Texas.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2020 Tamara Wilhite