Buffalo Municipal Division – Buffalo, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Buffalo Municipal Division INformation

Court: Buffalo Municipal Division
Address: “Dallas County Courthouse 108 South Maple Street, PO Box 1910, Buffalo, MO 65622”
Phone: 417-345-2243

City: Buffalo
County: Dallas
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Buffalo Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Buffalo Municipal Division are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, 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 cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Buffalo, Missouri

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts 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 administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 handled in the municipal court in Buffalo?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 period of time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute 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 mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Buffalo, MO

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

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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Buffalo 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 charge 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 Buffalo Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Buffalo, Missouri?

In Missouri, 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 charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Buffalo, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Buffalo Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court 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 weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.