Canton Municipal Court – Canton, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Canton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Canton Municipal Court
Address: “100 South Main Street, PO Box 476, Canton, KS 67428”
Phone: 620-628-4916

City: Canton
County: McPherson
State: Kansas

What is the purpose of the Canton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courts like Canton Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Canton, Kansas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. 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 service their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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 Canton?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific period of time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when someone 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 location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Canton, KS

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor 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.

The penalties for different charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Canton 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 charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Canton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Canton, Kansas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Canton, Kansas?

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 many judges does the Canton Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.