Ava Municipal Division – Ava, 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 located at the city or county tier.

Ava Municipal Division INformation

Court: Ava Municipal Division
Address: “Douglas County Courthouse 203 East Lincoln Avenue, PO Box 249, Ava, MO 65608”
Phone: 417-683-4713

City: Ava
County: Douglas
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Ava Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Ava Municipal Division 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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ava, Missouri

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 citizens or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Ava?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and location, 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Ava, MO

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 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 crimes in municipal courts 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Ava Municipal Division Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Ava Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Ava, 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 location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Ava, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ava Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

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 judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their licenses.