Bridgeton Joint Municipal Court – Bridgeton, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

Bridgeton Joint Municipal Court INformation

Court: Bridgeton Joint Municipal Court
Address: “330 Fayette Street, Bridgeton, NJ 08302”
Phone: 856-451-7565

City: Bridgeton
County: Cumberland
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Bridgeton Joint Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courts like Bridgeton Joint Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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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, accident 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 matters and more expansive civil cases.

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

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

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There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Bridgeton?

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 popularly known 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 period.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, 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 term if it’s a serious enough offense.

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Second Step: Show Up 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 Bridgeton, NJ

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1k 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.

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The penalties for different offenses in municipal courts 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.

Bridgeton Joint Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could 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 matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Bridgeton Joint Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Bridgeton, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Bridgeton, New Jersey?

Depending on the area 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 are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.