Branchburg Township Municipal Court – Branchburg, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Branchburg Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Branchburg Township Municipal Court
Address: “1077 Route 202 North, Branchburg, NJ 08876”
Phone: 908-526-1300 ext. 127

City: Branchburg
County: Somerset
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Branchburg Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like Branchburg Township 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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Branchburg, 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 help their people or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 Branchburg?

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. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms 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
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, 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.

Step Two: Show Up 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 Branchburg, NJ

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 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.

Branchburg Township Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Branchburg Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Branchburg, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Branchburg, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Branchburg Township Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse 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 evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.