Baldwin City Municipal Court – Baldwin City, KS

Oct 26, 2021

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

Baldwin City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Baldwin City Municipal Court
Address: “803 8th Street, PO Box 86, Baldwin City, KS 66006”
Phone: 785-594-6821

City: Baldwin City
County: Douglas
State: Kansas

What is the purpose of the Baldwin City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Baldwin City Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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 bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Baldwin City, Kansas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the U.S.. 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 help their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Baldwin City?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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.

Magistrates manage 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
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, 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.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Baldwin City, KS

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Baldwin City Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge 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 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Baldwin City Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter 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 Baldwin City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Baldwin City, Kansas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Baldwin City, Kansas?

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 Baldwin City Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.