Ashland Municipal Division – Columbia, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Ashland Municipal Division INformation

Court: Ashland Municipal Division
Address: “Boone County Courthouse 705 East Walnut Street, Columbia, MO 65201”
Phone: 573-886-4000

City: Columbia
County: Boone
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Ashland Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Ashland Municipal Division are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the role 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, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Columbia, Missouri

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code violations.

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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Columbia?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific time period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Columbia, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Ashland Municipal Division. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1,000.00 or one year in 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Ashland Municipal Division Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Ashland Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Columbia, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Columbia, Missouri?

Depending on the scope 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 Ashland Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.