Birmingham Municipal Division – Liberty, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Birmingham Municipal Division INformation

Court: Birmingham Municipal Division
Address: “James S. Rooney Justice Center 11 South Water Street, Liberty, MO 64068”
Phone: 816-407-3870

City: Liberty
County: Clay
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Birmingham Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Birmingham Municipal Division are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Liberty, Missouri

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts 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 serve their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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 managed in the municipal court in Liberty?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are managed 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 period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term 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 Liberty, MO

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1000 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Birmingham Municipal Division 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Birmingham Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Liberty, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Liberty, 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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Birmingham 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.