Bloomfield Municipal Court – Bloomfield, NM

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Bloomfield Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bloomfield Municipal Court
Address: “711 Ruth Lane, Bloomfield, NM 87413”
Phone: 505-632-6330

City: Bloomfield
County: San Juan
State: New Mexico

What is the role of the Bloomfield Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Bloomfield Municipal Court 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, 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 $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bloomfield, New Mexico

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their people or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could 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 crime 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 Bloomfield?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific period of time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Bloomfield, NM

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 Bloomfield Municipal Court. 

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

Bloomfield Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual 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 Bloomfield Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Bloomfield, New Mexico?

In New Mexico, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts 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 Bloomfield, New Mexico?

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 Bloomfield Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Mexico?

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 the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.