Bennington Municipal Court – Bennington, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Bennington Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bennington Municipal Court
Address: “121 North Nelson Street, PO Box 415, Bennington, KS 67422”
Phone: 785-488-3767

City: Bennington
County: Ottawa
State: Kansas

What is the role of the Bennington Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like Bennington Municipal Court 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 law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bennington, Kansas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. 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 expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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 Bennington?

Municipal courts are the entry 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 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 help for a specific period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Bennington, KS

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1k 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 charges 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Bennington Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Bennington Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Bennington, Kansas?

In Kansas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Bennington, Kansas?

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 Bennington Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.