Belton Municipal Division – Belton, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Belton Municipal Division INformation

Court: Belton Municipal Division
Address: “7001 East 163rd Street, Belton, MO 64012”
Phone: 816-331-2798

City: Belton
County: Cass
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Belton Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Belton Municipal Division 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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Belton, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry 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 service their people or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Belton?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific duration.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to 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 common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term 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 Belton, MO

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1k 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Belton 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 case they have in front of 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 Belton Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Belton, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Belton, Missouri?

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

How many judges does the Belton Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

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 judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.