Bolivar Municipal Court – Bolivar, TN

by | Oct 27, 2021

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

Bolivar Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bolivar Municipal Court
Address: “211 West Jackson Street, Bolivar, TN 38008”
Phone: 731-658-4284

City: Bolivar
County: Hardeman
State: Tennessee

What is the purpose of the Bolivar Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Bolivar Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the purpose 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 charges, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bolivar, Tennessee

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Bolivar?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific 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
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Bolivar, TN

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 charges in municipal courthouses 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Bolivar Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Bolivar Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Bolivar, Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Bolivar, Tennessee?

Depending on the scope 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Bolivar Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Tennessee?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.