Belleville Township Municipal Court – Belleville, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Belleville Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Belleville Township Municipal Court
Address: “152 Washington Avenue, Belleville, NJ 07109”
Phone: 973-450-3319

City: Belleville
County: Essex
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Belleville Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courts like Belleville Township Municipal Court 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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Belleville, New Jersey

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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 managed in the municipal court in Belleville?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 board to serve for a specific duration.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

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

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

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

Belleville Township Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Belleville Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Belleville, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Belleville, New Jersey?

Depending on the size 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 Belleville Township Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.