Atoka Municipal Court – Atoka, TN

by | Oct 27, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Atoka Municipal Court INformation

Court: Atoka Municipal Court
Address: “68 Atoka-McLaughlin Drive, Atoka, TN 38004”
Phone: 901-837-5302

City: Atoka
County: Tipton
State: Tennessee

What is the purpose of the Atoka Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Atoka Municipal Court 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 family law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Atoka, Tennessee

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

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

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Atoka?

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

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Atoka, TN

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Atoka 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 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.

FAQs ABOUT the Atoka Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Atoka, Tennessee?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Atoka, Tennessee?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Atoka Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Tennessee?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.