Bernards Township Municipal Court – Basking Ridge, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Bernards Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bernards Township Municipal Court
Address: “1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920”
Phone: 908-630-5538

City: Basking Ridge
County: Somerset
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Bernards Township Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses 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 felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

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 misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Basking Ridge?

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. 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 time.

Magistrates manage 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 seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to be present 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time 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 Basking Ridge, NJ

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Bernards Township Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Bernards Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Basking Ridge, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court 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 misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Basking Ridge, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Bernards 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 court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.