Manvel City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Thomas L Pfeiffer as an alternate Municipal Court Judge for the city. Pfeiffer has been an Assistant District Attorney for Fort Bend County since 2007. He also serves as the Municipal Court prosecutor for the city of Hedwig Village, a small residential enclave in Houston’s Memorial area.
Pfeiffer says he does not like judges who have a 9 to 5 approach to their jobs. Saying the worst cases happen after hours, he thinks judges need to be available 24/7 to local law enforcement; “crime is not something that is stagnant,” he says. Pfeiffer loves being a prosecutor saying he did not choose his profession to achieve a “particular tax bracket.” He thinks people are “best at the things they enjoy” and he says he enjoys being a prosecutor and representing criminal victims. He used the same argument in explaining to city council why he wants to be a Municipal Court Judge.
Municipal courts handle criminal cases rated as Class C misdemeanors and include traffic violations for which the maximum fine upon conviction does not exceed $500, and for which no jail term may be assessed. Cases involving violations of city ordinances are also tried in the Municipal Court.
Michael Culling is the city’s primary Municipal Court Judge for Manvel and has served the city since 1996. In addition to his work as a judge Culling operates a private law practice in the city. Pfeiffer would fill in for Culling on the occasions he was unable to make a court date.