Court & Detention Services


You have 31 days from when the citation was issued to appear. You may make your appearance online, by mail, by telephone, and in person. Live Chat and email do not satisfy an appearance. If you fail to make your appearance within the 21 days, you are subject to added fines, fees, and possible warrants for your arrest. NON-Civil citations have 21 days to appear. If you are unsure which type of citation you received, you can contact the Court before the 21 days expires to verify.

Civil Citations


Civil - Frequently Asked Questions:


I received an administrative civil citation? 


A person who has been charged with a violation through an administrative citation shall answer to the charge by appearing in person or through counsel before the hearing officer, located at 2014 Main Street, Dallas, Texas 75201, no later than the 31st calendar day after the date the citation was issued for a pre-hearing conference with the assistant city attorney. At the pre-hearing conference, only the person whose name appears on the citation or their attorney may request a full hearing (contested hearing). If the 31st calendar day falls on a day when the court is closed, then the person must appear (in person or through counsel) by the next day that the court is open. * If the person charged is a corporation or business entity, the corporation or business entity must be represented by an attorney. 


What are my options? 


An answer to the administrative citation may be made in either of the following ways: 

  • By returning the citation, on or before the 31st calendar day from the date the citation was issued, with the applicable administrative penalties, fees, and court costs, which action constitutes an admission of liability; 
  • By personally appearing, with or without counsel, before the hearing officer on or before the 31st calendar day from the date the citation was issued and on any subsequent hearing date. The person charged in the administrative citation must be present at the hearing and cannot be represented by anyone other than an attorney who has a license to practice law in Texas, which is in good standing. If the person charged is a corporation or a business entity, the corporation or business entity must be represented by an attorney who has a license to practice law in Texas, which is in good standing. 

Can I request an extension over the phone? 


Any request for an extension must be filed in writing with the court clerk’s office and served on the other party prior to the court date.


Will the Code Inspector who issued the citation be present at the contested hearing?


If the person charged fails to make a timely, written request to have the inspector who issued the citation present at the contested hearing, the person charged will be deemed to have waived the right to call and examine that inspector.


What happens if I missed my deadline to appear in court? 


A person who fails to answer an administrative citation is considered to have admitted liability for the violation charged. Upon proof of service by the city, the hearing officer will issue an administrative order of liability and assess against the person charged with the violation an appropriate amount of administrative penalties, fees, and court costs. 


Can I appeal the Hearing Officer’s decision? 


Either party to an action ruled upon by the hearing officer may appeal that determination by filing a petition in municipal court within 31 calendar days after the date the hearing officer's administrative order is filed with the municipal court clerk. An appeal does not stay the enforcement of the order of the hearing officer unless, before the appeal petition is filed, a bond is filed with the municipal court for twice the amount of the administrative penalties, fees, and court costs ordered by the hearing officer.