Alpine Municipal Court – Alpine, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Alpine Municipal Court INformation

Court: Alpine Municipal Court
Address: “100 Church Street, PO Box 0271, Alpine, NJ 07620”
Phone: 201-768-6866

City: Alpine
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Alpine Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like Alpine Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Alpine, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Alpine?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Alpine, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Alpine Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1000 or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Alpine Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Alpine Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Alpine, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Alpine, New Jersey?

Depending on the area of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Alpine Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.