The Seabrook Municipal Court is a court of record. This means that the proceedings of a trial may be recorded, if you wish, for purposes of appealing the decision of the judge or jury. This could be important if you wish to appeal because any appeal is based only on trial errors, not simply because you do not like the verdict of the judge or jury.
If you wish to have a recording made of the trial proceedings, it is your responsibility to tell the judge before the trial begins.
If, after hearing the evidence in your case, a jury or judge finds you guilty and assesses a fine and costs, you may appeal your case to the Criminal Court of Harris County in downtown Houston, Texas, by doing the following:
- You must file a written motion for new trial with the Seabrook Municipal Court Clerk no later than the tenth day after the date on which judgment is made by the judge or jury, stating the points of error you think occurred. You may amend your motion with the judge’s permission within 20 days of when you filed your original or amended motion.
- If the judge grants your motion for new trial, your case would be tried again.
- If the judge overrules the motion for new trial or it is overruled because the judge made no ruling within 30 days of the original or amended motion, you must then file no later than the 10th day thereafter, a Notice of Appeal and an Appeal Bond in twice the amount of the fines and costs -- but not less than $100 -- with the Seabrook Municipal Court Clerk. At that time, a $25 transcript preparation fee must be paid to the Seabrook Municipal Court Clerk.
- You then have 60 days in which to file the statement of facts (the recorded trial proceedings). It is your responsibility to have a court reporter transcribe the recording at your cost within the 60 days.
- You then must file your appellate brief stating your points of error with the Harris County Criminal Court Clerk within 15 days. The state will have a right to respond and the appeal will then be decided by a Harris County Criminal Court.
The above outline is derived from Chapter 30 of the Government Code of the State of Texas. If you have further questions, it is your responsibility to contact an attorney and/or refer to appropriate sections of Texas law.