Information for attorneys representing defendants in Tomball Municipal Court
Tomball Municipal Court Policies for Attorneys
Revised July 3, 2022
Letter of Representation:
A letter of representation is required. Once submitted, the Attorney will be the Attorney of Record for the Defendant’s case until such time as the case is finally disposed or the Attorney’s written request to withdraw is granted by the Court.
If the Attorney has Standing Agreements with other attorneys to appear on behalf of the Defendant, the Attorney must provide the names of all such attorneys in the letter of representation.
Upon receipt of the letter of representation, the Court Clerk shall schedule the case for an “Attorney Conference” docket.
The Attorney of Record or any attorney listed in the letter of representation may appear for a represented defendant at an "Initial Appearance", "Attorney Conference", “Pre-Trial”, or “Show Cause” Docket to discuss the case with the City Prosecutor, enter a plea, or obtain a reset.
The Court may under certain circumstances require both the Defendant and the Attorney of Record to appear at a “Pre-Trial” hearing pursuant to Art. 28.01 Tex. Code Crim. Proc.
If the prosecutor consents, attorneys are permitted to negotiate with the State using email, Zoom, or regular mail. A limited number of continuances will be granted to accommodate such negotiations as long as the case continues to progress to the Court’s satisfaction.
Notice of Settings:
Notice of the date, time, and nature of each setting shall be sent by regular mail or email to the address provided on the letter of representation. A courtesy notice will be sent via regular mail to the last known address of the Defendant.
Requests for Continuance:
A written motion for continuance is required. The motion must be submitted on or before the date of an “Initial Appearance” setting, “Attorney Conference” setting, “Pre-Trial” setting, or “Show Cause” setting and no less than ten (10) business days prior to any trial setting.
Faxed or emailed motions from attorneys will be accepted by the Clerk. Each request for reset will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Court.
Continuances will be liberally granted to attorneys as long as diligent plea negotiations are taking place. The Court will balance the need for a reset based on the legitimate time conflicts experienced by attorneys and the Court’s need to move its docket.
If a motion for continuance is granted, the Clerk will send a letter or email to the Attorney and Defendant with notice of the new court setting.
If a motion for continuance is denied, timely attendance at the originally scheduled hearing will be required. Parties should plan accordingly and should avoid waiting to the last minute to submit the motion for continuance. If a motion for continuance is denied and the Defendant and Defendant’s attorney both fail to appear at the originally scheduled hearing, an arrest warrant may be issued for the Defendant and the Defendant may be required to post a bond for a new court setting.
Motions to Withdraw:
An Attorney of Record shall not be permitted to withdraw from any case without presenting a motion in writing and obtaining from the Court an order granting leave to withdraw. When withdrawal is made at the request of or on agreement of the Defendant, such motion shall be accompanied by the Defendant’s written consent or a certificate by a new lawyer representing the Defendant. In the event the Defendant has not consented, a copy of the motion to withdraw shall be mailed to the Defendant at the Defendant’s last known address by certified mail or regular first class mail. After leave to withdraw is granted, the withdrawing attorney shall advise the Defendant of the withdrawal by certified mail or regular first class mail, stating the next hearing date and advising the Defendant of the right to secure other counsel.
In order to post an attorney bond, the attorney must be on the approved Harris County Surety list. If an attorney who appears on the approved Harris County Surety list has submitted a letter of representation, the attorney may post an attorney bond without requiring the signature of the principle.
Attorneys are expected to comply with the Standing Orders that are promulgated by the Court.