Avondale Municipal Division – Liberty, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its location. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Avondale Municipal Division INformation

Court: Avondale Municipal Division
Address: “James S. Rooney Justice Center 11 South Water Street, Liberty, MO 64068”
Phone: 816-407-3870

City: Liberty
County: Clay
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Avondale Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Avondale Municipal Division are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, the purpose 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 charges, 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 Liberty, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 assist their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend 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 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Liberty?

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 often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Liberty, MO

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 offenses in municipal courthouses 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Avondale Municipal Division Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Avondale Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Liberty, 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 crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Liberty, Missouri?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Avondale Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. 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.