Butler Municipal Court – Butler, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Butler Municipal Court INformation

Court: Butler Municipal Court
Address: “1 Ace Road, Butler, NJ 07405”
Phone: 973-838-0559

City: Butler
County: Morris
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Butler Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Butler 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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Butler, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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 assist their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Butler?

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 have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Butler, NJ

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Butler Municipal Court 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Butler Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Butler, New Jersey?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Butler, 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Butler 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 court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.